Local, homegrown music continues to flourish in the Lehigh Valley, while showing no signs of slowing down in the new year.
With inevitable snow and the bitter cold of winter looming on the horizon, the coming months will be prime time for local musicians and songwriters to hole up in the cozy confines of a recording studio and begin the process of creating and releasing new music.
Here are 10 local acts to keep an eye on in 2016:
ACOUSTIC KITTY PROJECT | Fronted by singer-guitarist Carter Lansing, Acoustic Kitty Project is expected to release the follow-up to their 2013 album, 'Shine, in 2016. 'Shine spotlighted Lansing's ability to stitch together songs that weave in and out of folk, Americana, country and rock. With a new record on the way and a handful of 2016 Lehigh Valley Music Award nominations under Lansing's belt, it should be a big year for these cool cats. acoustickittyproject.com
DAVE CAHILL | The guitarist-vocalist and former Almighty Terribles frontman has lined up not one, but, two upcoming dates opening for nationally-recognized guitarist Tim Reynolds. (The latter is best known for his collaborations with Dave Matthews.) Cahill recently released the electrifying single, "Future Shock." Between a promising solo career and his work with the band Hot 4 Robot -- which includes fellow guitarist-vocalist Alex Radus -- Cahill is poised to turn even more heads in 2016. davecahill.com
DOUG HAWK | Keyboardist-singer Doug Hawk is finding time in between his duties as vocalist for Bethlehem-based tribute groups Start Making Sense and HMFO to pen a new solo album. For music fans who enjoy their jazz on the soulful side, this is definitely a collection of tunes you do not want to let slip under your radar.
GOAT WIZARD | If the name does not sell you on heavy-metal group Goat Wizard, their music (which they label "stoner metal") will do the trick. Their balls-to-the-wall sonic approach is proof that metal is alive and well in the Valley. goatwizard.bandcamp.com
NAMELESS VICTIMS | One of the Valley's two recently formed supergroups -- the other being experimental/progressive rockers The Now -- Nameless Victims is rounded out by bassist extraordinaire/drummer Wes Santo, singer Scott Harrington, of Acoustic Bite Trio, and guitarist Kurt Althoff.
ROI AND THE SECRET PEOPLE | Roi and the Secret People are also planning to release a new album in 2016 -- the hotly anticipated follow-up to their 2013 studio effort, Phoenix. The band had a busy 2015; dropping a music video for the album's title track (a Tom Petty-esque earworm), while gaining new fans through their dynamic live shows. Look for the group to carry that momentum forward into 2016. roiandthesecretpeople.com
SLINGSHOT DAKOTA | Slingshot Dakota -- consisting of keyboardist-vocalist Carly Comando and drummer-vocalist Tom Patterson -- have established themselves as one of the Valley's hottest up-and-coming acts. This year also saw the release of Comando's mostly instrumental solo effort, Dreamlife. The duo is working on a new Slingshot Dakota album through its label, Topshelf Records, which is guaranteed to be a hot commodity when it hits in the spring. slingshotdakotamusic.com
SUMMER SCOUTS | Power pop quintet Summer Scouts had a big year in 2015, releasing the EP, Deep Breath, in August. Deep Breath contained the super catchy single, "Olympic White, " which should be playing right now on Top 40 radio stations across the country -- sandwiched nicely between Imagine Dragons and Walk the Moon. Thankfully, a fresh batch of original tunes is highly likely before 2016 comes to a close. summerscouts.com
VITRUVIA | Vitruvia, technically, hails from outside of the Lehigh Valley (they are based in the Reading area). However, the post-hardcore rockers have steadily been increasing their presence locally. The band has a new album in the can, a six-track EP titled Reborn, set for an early winter release. During a late November phone interview, singer-guitarist Dana Hinnershitz said the group plans on significantly spreading their reach throughout the Valley. Catch them while you can. vitruviamusic.com
VOIRVOIR | VoirVoir's profile was raised significantly in 2015, creating local buzz thanks in large part to an aggressive performance schedule. In August, they opened for The Flaming Lips on the main stage at Musikfest. Their music is a combustible powder keg of garage rock and indie punk -- a sound that needs, and should, be experienced in person. voirvoir.bandcamp.com