Top Local Artist Moments of 2016: Number 19


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19. CROATIA at Sugar Nightclub- Sunset (November 5, 2016)

If there’s one trend I noticed in music in 2016, it’s the revival of synth-pop/rock. From Tegan and Sara ditching the acoustic guitars to The 1975 to WILLA and Yukon Blonde and Juno award winners Dear Rouge in Vancouver… the keyboard came back in a big way. Enter Victoria’s CROATIA. What started out as a fun jammming project for Matt Dell and Steve Mitchell turned into more with the addition of Tashiina Buswa. CROATIA were Zone Band of The Month for August 2016 and our friends at have their album ranked their #1 favourite local artist album of the year.

Their performance at Sugar opening for Carmanah makes this list because it’s the first time I had seen them perform on a stage larger than Lucky Bar or Copper Owl. Once again, this is a band that would rank higher on this list if there wasn’t some uncertainty on what’s next for CROATIA as at the Zone Band of The Month Showcase in November 2016, Tashiina announced that she was leaving the band to move to Montreal. Matt and Steve may have found a new singer, though that isn’t 100% confirmed yet. But rest assured CROATIA won’t disappear in 2017.


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