Just because politics takes center stage in Washington D.C., it doesn’t mean the town is boring. The city is home to art forms of all kinds, including a burgeoning music scene. On any given night you can escape to venues big and small, central to a variety of live bands and musicians from all over the world. The nation’s capital also breeds talent of its own, the results of a population exposed to varied cultures and music genres. From indie rock to EDM, here is a list local bands you’ll want to check out before tickets are hard to come by.
Broke Royals

Formed in 2014, The Broke Royals have already amassed both a following and a decent discography. The tie and vest pressed duo of Philip Basnight and Colin Cross produce alternative rock songs filled with catchy melodies and mosaic synth-pop arrangements. Their first hit “About Time” inspired the people of Thailand during a military coup in May of 2014, encouraging Basnight and Cross to produce more music together. They released their second EP, The Luxury of Time PT II, in August and were named “Artist of the Month” by Deli Magazine DC. You can catch them live at clubs in DC and or download a limited edition single at soundcloud.com.

Chesapeake Sons

You can take the boy out of Maryland, but you can’t take Maryland out of the boy. This country rock duo may have made a pilgrimage to Nashville, but a big part of them still resides in the old line state. Their first video “She Got a Way” was shot earlier this year on the opposite coast and the sons have been working hard in the recording studio to produce new content for 2016. In between recording sessions in Nashville, the Chesapeake Sons have been returning to their beloved Maryland for their signature acoustic shows.


After playing the DC music scene for several years, Paperhaus finally immortalized their music in  early 2015. The self-titled debut album was recorded live, a tribute to the expertise of Alex Tebeleff and Eduardo Rivera. The music is a relaxed version of alternative rock, appealing to all types of fans and the epitome of a live club band experience. Paperhaus has been branching out from smaller venues in DC and has an ambitious schedule in their future.

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Ex Hex

Fronted by DC native Mary Timony, Ex Hex is girl rock at its finest. Reminiscent of 80s rock acts like Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, Ex Hex has a deep metal sound that earned them a “Best New Album” laud by Pitchfork Media. They spent the majority of 2015 touring in Europe and debuted a new video for the single “Don’t Wanna Lose,” directed by Lara Jean Gallagher. Look to see Ex Hex circle back to the US and DC in 2016.

Thievery Corporation

The EDM scene has been growing by leaps and bounds, and the Thievery Corporation is DC’s contribution. The team of DC locals Eric Hilton and Rob Garza have perfected their craft with a discography of nine studio albums, 18 compilations and countless singles, and now that popularity is spreading abroad. Their unique sound is influenced by club, Bossanova and jazz music with a slice of Brazilian culture. Based in critiques of US government, the duo has taken on DC politics including the Iraq War, hunger, trade agreements and human rights.

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Christa Emmer is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in broadcast journalism. She has experience as a news writer, editor and producer in television news. Follow her on twitter @ChristaEmmer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.