The lineup of albums being considered for the annual Polaris Prize, CBC Music’s award honouring the best in Canadian music, has arrived—and it looks like this year there’s something for everyone.
Getting nods for the award this year are Marie Davidson’s Working Class Woman, Elisapie’s The Ballad of the Runaway Girl, FET.NAT’s Le Mal, Dominique Fils-Aimé’s Stay Tuned!, Les Louanges’s La nuit est une panthère, Haviah Mighty’s 13th Floor, PUP’s Morbid Stuff, Jessie Reyez’s Being Human In Public, Shad’s A Short Story About A War and Snotty Nose Rez Kids’s Trapline.
“This year's Short List offers a mix of returning Polaris nominees and new voices in a terrific range of genres,” said Polaris jury foreperson Katherine Duncan. “No matter what your taste, I think you'll find something to love here.”
Duncan is absolutely right. This year’s list ranges from experimental electronic projects from Davidson and FET.NAT to the smooth soul of Fils-Aimé and Reyez to hardcore Toronto punk rockers like PUP. Quebecois artists represent half of the list, while hip-hop artists make a strong showing between Mighty, Shad and Snotty Nose Rez Kids.
Personally, we can’t help but root for the only local representative in Snotty Nose Rez Kids, a hip-hop duo known for protest songs surrounding the First Nations experience that return to the Polaris shortlist after being nominated for last year’s The Average Savage.
The winner of the prize will be selected on September 16 at a Toronto ceremony to be streamed live on CBC’s website. They will receive $50,000 and join an impressive list of past winners that includes Kaytranada, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Arcade Fire and Feist.
Last year, Indigenous classical pianist and opera singer Jeremy Dutcher took home the prize for his album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa.
To be considered eligible for the Polaris Prize, albums had to be released between May 1, 2018 and May 31, 2019.
The Short List is determined by an independent jury of music journalists, broadcasters and bloggers from across Canada, eleven of which are selected to become a part of the Grand Jury to determine the final champion.