Michael Wood Band – This emerging quartet’s song Take Me Away was recently chosen as a semi-finalist in the 2013 International Song writing Competition from more than 20,000 entries. Catch them opening for rock legends Platinum Blonde July 2 at Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre. The band is also playing a free show July 19 at noon in Centennial Square. Michaelwoodband.com
Slam Dunk – Recently featured as the “Daily Download” at rollingstone.com, this five-piece party band is making an impression, both locally and internationally with their frantic, psych rock and laissez-faire attitude. Fresh off a two-month North American tour, let’s hope Slam Dunk is planning some local shows this summer. Slamdunkband.com
Steph MacPherson — Recently named Island Artist of the Year at the Vancouver Island Music Awards, MacPherson is having a stellar year in 2013. The latest in the list of Bells & Whistles (also the name of her debut full-length album) this Kiwi-Canadian has under her belt is a Western Canadian Music Award nomination for Songwriter of the Year. Catch her live at the Live n’ Unsigned Victoria Summer Folk Showcase July 25 at the Victoria Event Centre. Stephmacpherson.com
The Archers – This barely legal five-piece band was recently recognized by the Canadian Folk Music Awards with a nomination for Young Performer of the Year for 2012. They were also crowned Youthink’s B.C’.s Best Teen Band in 2011 and won Victoria’s Garage Band Live contest in 2011. Fresh off a cross-canada tour which ended with a set at V.I.C. Fest in late June, you can catch their live show at Buchart Gardens July 17. Thearchersband.com
Current Swell – Winners of the 2011 Peak Performance Project, support for this local four-piece is swelling both locally and internationally — they just finished tours of Australia and Europe and sold out many of their shows. See them at festivals across Canada this summer. Currentswell.com
Jon and Roy – With their annual Holiday Special packing the Alix Goolden Hall to the rafters, Jon and Roy continue to their forward momentum in 2013. Catch them live at Rock of the Woods Festival in late July. Jonandroy.ca
Acres of Lions — Recent Monday Mag cover models Acres of Lions recently took third place in the prestigious International Songwriting Competition for its song “Reaction,” which is no doubt still stuck in your head since its 2011 release. They’re playing a free show on the legislature lawn on Canada Day, but you can also see them live at Rock the Shores festival July 13 and Rock of the Woods Festival July 28 in Duncan. Acresoflions.com.
Kytami — Recently named Island Live Act of the Year at the Vancouver Island Music Awards, and nominated for Electronic/Dance Recording of the Year in the Western Canadian Music Awards, 2013 is looking good for this Victoria based violinist-extremist, who was one of the co-founders of super group Delhi2Dublin. Kytami and her electric violin are stepping out for an American tour in July and will be playing festivals across Canada in August. Kytami.ca