Best Chicago Music Of 2012: Local Albums That Rocked The Windy City

With 2012 nearing its conclusion, HuffPost Chicago reached out to some of city's most prolific trendsetters and thought leaders in style, music and culture and asked them to share some of their favorite local places and things from the year. We'll be rolling them out on the daily through New Year's Day.

With a finger firmly on the pulse of Chicago's local music scene, few folks heard more music out of the Windy City than the music department at the Chicago Independent Radio Project.

CHIRP's crew kindly shared its list of the best 2012 album releases by bands in our own back yard. From footwork beats to neo-girl groups, noise punk to brass ensembles, Chicago bands positively rocked this year with a string of stirring, surprising and flat-out awesome albums.

(Hear songs off the 10 best Chicago album releases of 2012 below.)

CHIRP, whose online station launched from a North Center warehouse three years ago in January, also does duty as community radio advocates. Since their 2007 founding, CHIRP members have sent letters, promoted petitions and worked hard to encourage the federal government to make low power FM (LPFM) radio licenses in urban areas more accessible.

With the FCC expected to open a new application window for Low Power FM licenses next year, CHIRP will be eyeing the terrestrial airwaves of Chicago in 2013. Meanwhile, you may stream CHIRP through your browser.

Text below by CHIRP.

Best Records Of 2012: Chicago Bands