Polaris Music Prize Announces Best-Album Long List
As NXNE kicked off in Toronto, organizers of the Polaris Prize took advantage of the spotlight on music to announce the 40-album long list for the esteemed annual award for best Canadian album.
Hosted by CBC Radio 3's Grant Lawrence, the event drew media and music-industry types to Toronto's Drake Hotel to find out which artists had made it past the first round of voting by the 198-member jury -- made up of music writers, broadcasters and bloggers from across the country.
Jurors were asked to pick their top five albums of the year (released between June 2009 and May 2010) -- the 40 most commonly chosen records then become the long list.
To nobody's surprise, the long list includes several previous nominees -- including Basia Bulat, the Besnard Lakes, Broken Social Scene, Holy F---, New Pornographers, Plants and Animals and Shad -- as well as a pair of past winners in Caribou and Owen Pallett. But several under-the-radar selections were also included, such as albums from Quebecois artists Karkwa, Misteur Valaire, and Radio Radio.
Veterans certainly weren't overlooked, with Blue Rodeo, Jason Collett and the Sadies all receiving nods, while relative newcomers like Hannah Georgas, Dan Mangan and Meaghan Smith were also recognized.
A second round of voting by the full jury pool will determine a shortlist of 10, to be announced July 6, before a final panel of 11 jurors from across Canada chooses the $20,000 winner at a gala event in Toronto on Sept. 20.
Lawrence wasted no time in introducing previous Polaris nominees -- including countrified rockers Elliott Brood, cabaret crooner Jill Barber ("Long-listed last year for