Friday, June 14, 2024

15 must-see bands from in and around Greater Victoria to keep an eye on in 2024

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Greater Victoria is rife with talent when it comes to music!

There are hundreds of bands and artists who are unique, talented and have been making a name for themselves on Vancouver Island and beyond—playing festivals and local concerts around town throughout the year.

Some bands are old, some bands are new, but all are ones that you should keep your eye on this year as they will no doubt make waves throughout Victoria’s music scene.

Sometimes it can be hard to keep your finger on the pulse of the ever-evolving local music scene though, so Victoria Buzz is trying to take some of the guesswork out of it for you. 

Here are 15 amazing singer-songwriters and bands in Greater Victoria to keep an eye out for this year:

ex-cowboy

One of Victoria’s best bands, hands down. 

These guys have proven themselves over the last couple years to be leaders of the DIY punk scene as well as prolific musicians who never cease to amaze audiences. 

ex-cowboy can be caught playing pretty frequently through Victoria at venues like the Victoria Event Centre, Big or Little Fernwood as well as other DIY venues and house shows.

In 2023 they released two full-length albums, Mr. Frog and Dino DNA—the former being a masterpiece of post-punk and the latter being a psych-punk instrumental record that will most certainly blow your mind. 

They don’t have any 2024 shows announced as of yet, but keep an eye on their Instagram for upcoming concert details.


Talel McBriar

She puts on a masterclass of sad-girl indie music when she plays live and her recordings are hauntingly beautiful. 

McBriar is originally from Nelson, but is quickly making a name for herself here in Victoria as she had the opportunity to play a few prominent shows in 2023.

2024 is the year of McBriar, keep an eye out for her shows and in the meantime, head to her Instagram to stay in the loop with what she’s up to!


Bong Witch

Bong Witch is comprised of the talented members of Maitarra and Saltwater Cowboy—two Victoria bands that are no more who both came out of the pandemic swinging until members either moved away or they decided to go in different directions musically.

They have only a handful of shows under their belt thus far, but they are up to some big things this year and will be playing at a stoner-metal show near you soon enough!

So far, they have not recorded or released any of their music, but keep an eye out for their shows via Bong Witch’s Instagram—you will not be disappointed.


The Dog Indiana

Veterans of the scene, The Dog Indiana have become mainstays of the punk scene in Victoria and never cease to amaze. 

As fatherhood and other life circumstances have swooped into the lives of their members, they play a bit less often. When they do play though, it is an event that will give a healthy dose of FOMO to any of those who miss out.

They haven’t announced any shows in the new year as of yet, but they will soon enough. So make sure to stay tuned on their Instagram for when they do announce a show.

Here is some of their newly released music, Burnt Ends, which came in April 2023:


Pony Gold

One for the country fans!

Pony Gold has only been around in Victoria for a short while now and is led by a husband and wife duo who combine their talents for masterful guitar playing, heart wrenching lyricism and angelic singing to create a sound unlike any other in Victoria. 

In 2022 they played SunFest, in 2023 they played Rifflandia and released their first EP which is full of earworms that will have you humming their songs to yourself as you go about your day. 

Keep an eye out for them, follow them on Instagram for future show details and make sure to listen to their sad songs with good vibes this year!


The Projectors

If you like indie-rock like The Strokes, you will love The Projectors!

They have showmanship and are comprised of some of Victoria’s best music veterans who have played in punk bands, rock bands toured extensively as folk acts and everything in between. 

They have taken some of the end of 2023 off from playing shows, but through it all were hard at work writing and recording some new music. 

Listen to their latest single below and follow The Projectors’ Instagram for details of upcoming music and shows. 


Nicky MacKenzie

Originally from Salt Spring Island, MacKenzie is a force to be reckoned with.

She was a featured artist in Phillips Backyard Music Series in 2023 and before that, she played Rifflandia in 2022.

MacKenzie is a pop artist who was influenced by the talented Alicia Keys and Amy Winehouse and she is going places with her similarly powerful and evocative voice. 

She is represented by local artist management outfit Blue Heron Music, who produce the Phillips Backyard Music Series and also represent artists like Jesse Roper, Current Swell and Ocie Elliott.

Check her out on February 2nd at Upstairs Cabaret along with fellow locals The Bankes Brothers and Vox Rea.

Follow her on Instagram for updates on more shows and new music she plans on releasing in 2024. 


Northcote

A hero of the scene, Northcote is an internationally touring artist who continues to blow people away with his music and stage presence when he plays live. 

Last year he sold out shows, played benefit concerts, announced a 2024 European tour along with The Flatliners’ Chris Cresswell and released his most unique album to date.

With influences ranging from hardcore punk to Indian mantra chanting, saying Northcote’s music spans genres is the understatement of the year and his voice is downright addictive. 

Listen to his music and watch for upcoming shows on his Instagram, when he comes back triumphant from his European stint. 


Special Guests

This is another band that, similarly to Bong Witch, is formed from members of Maitarra

Special Guests are self-described as a chill, jam-centered group who debuted at the Maitarra farewell show and had everyone in the crowd anticipating future shows as well as their first recordings.

They will surely be one to keep an eye out for as they get some more shows under their belt. 

It’s always fun to follow a band from the very beginning and this would be the opportunity to do so with Special Guests.

Also, they might just have one of the best band names in Victoria, and beyond. 

Find them on Instagram to follow their journey!


Vox Rea

Vox Rea have been around since 2015 and had the opportunity to play Rifflandia in 2023 where many people who don’t keep their finger on the pulse of the music acne were blown away by their performance. 

Their music is ethereal and dreamy indie-pop which is completely captivating. 

Some bands are known for their live show and some for their recordings, but this band has it all. 

Vox Rea was featured as one of The Zone @ 91-3’s Bands of the Month in 2023 and they are surely a local outfit that you’ll want to follow along with this year. 

They are also playing the Bankes Brothers show along with Nicky MacKenzie on February 2nd, but for other shows follow them on Instagram and check out their music below:


Neighbourly

Another veteran band that if you haven’t discovered yet, you should get into them ASAP.

Their performances are fun, bouncy and bring a positive vibe that will have the whole crowd wearing big dumb smiles as they bop along to the music.

Neighbourly’s music could be described as heavily jazz influenced indie-rock with influences from a slough of other sounds and it is definitely worth a listen. You’ll be listening to their latest record, which is self titled, before you know it. 

They have no 2024 shows announced yet, but follow them on Instagram to stay in the loop on that front.


Miina

Essentially a reimagined version of Vancouver Island heavyweights, Carmanah, Miina is a sight to behold and has a brand new sound for Victoria and the rest of the world.

They have stepped a bit further away from Carmanah’s rootsy sounds—and have sadly given up the “hoe-down” fiddle solos—and have planted their feet in the world of indie-pop/rock.

Miina just hit the scene last year and already have steady radio play on The Zone @ 91-3 and this is certainly just the beginning for them. 

Keep an eye out for their shows and an ear out for their music. They are sure to blow up nationally and this could be their year!

Listen to their debut EP, Slow Motion, below and follow their Instagram to be in the know for upcoming shows.


Hillsboro

Another band who have been around for a bit now and were featured as one of The Zone’s Bands of the Month last year. 

They perform sometimes as a full band and sometimes as a duo, but are always a crowd favourite in Victoria. 

Hillsboro’s music is trippy, grungy, punky rock rife with distorted tones reminiscent of the 90s indie scene’s comeuppance. 

They put out their first full length, self titled album in September 2021 and if you are booking for a slap of nostalgia in the face, you simply must listen. 

They have no upcoming shows announced thus far for 2024, but follow them on Instagram to see when they will take to the stage next. 


Dead Bob

The new project of one of Victoria’s original punks, John Wright, who was a founding member of NoMeansNo.

Dead Bob is a brand new sound with the same overarching energy that Wright brought to NoMeansNo.

Evocative, full of rage, political, existential—Dead Bob’s debut, Life Like, is a must-listen for anyone who likes punk music, old and new. 

They played their debut show in Victoria in late 2023 at the Capital Ballroom and haven’t announced any plans for another local show, but will announce any upcoming gigs on their Instagram


Clint Nottingham

Last but not least!

Clint Nottingham is currently on CFUV’s top 30 charts as of this publication and is a local who has a lot to say that is worth listening to. 

In 2023, this prolific songwriter released three albums, each featuring 39 songs. Wow!

Some songs are folky, some poppy, all of them are unique, emotional and well-produced for an independant DIY release.

Nottingham doesn’t have social media and his music isn’t available on Spotify, but you can find all three, 39 song albums on his Bandcamp page, and you should. 


This list is simply the tip of the iceberg in terms of talent in and around Greater Victoria. 

If we missed your favourite artist or band, let us know in the comments and drop a link to their music!

mm
Curtis Blandy
curtis@victoriabuzz.com

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