The 2016 Polaris Music Prize Long List

grimes bieber carly copy

The Polaris Prize is still afloat, and organizers have announced the 2016 long list of nominees for best Canadian album. Whether intentionally or not, the tool of controversy has been used to juice up the loadstone resulting in jacked up attention and thus increased sponsorship. The result is that the initial 2006 prize money of $20,000 has fattened up to the current sum of $50,000. Criticism of the prize has centered mainly around questions of representation balance when it comes to artist attributes and musical genre. Country, jazz, and others are often left out. If anything has been set in better balance with this year’s 40 nominees, it may be that between the indie and the mainstream. In the past, good music equated simply to music that was different. It seemed there was no such thing as different music that was bad to Polaris panel ears. We have more familiar pop albums present this year to indicate a bit of a change in thinking. A regular shoe-in of the nominations—Drake—is there again this year, and his big hits have not been original compositions but a reworking of other songs, a further indication that originality is no longer seen as the prime requisite. The JUNO winning album of the year, The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness, is included. Critically acclaimed pop albums that the JUNOs ignored, Carly Rae Jepsen’s Emotion and Grimes’ Art Angels, are there. Other welcome nods are to Justin Bieber’s wonderful electronic pop album Purpose, folk pop group The Strumbellas’ Hope, and Coeur de pirate’s exquisite bilingual pop album Roses. On the alternative music side, there’s a lot there, so no worries for the indie enthusiasts.

The Long List was revealed today from the abandoned telegraph lines and gold nugget pouches in Whitehorse, Yukon. In total, 183 titles, released in the eligibility period of June 1, 2015 to May 31, 2016, made the first ballots of the 192 member jury. This year’s list features 19 returning and 21 new nominees.

The 10 album Short List will be announced on July 14 in Toronto.

Eleven people are to be selected from the larger jury pool to serve on the Grand Jury. They will convene the night of the Polaris Gala to choose the 2016 Polaris Music Prize winner who will receive $50,000. Each of the nine other short listed artists will receive $3,000 courtesy of Slaight Music. The gala will be held September 19 at The Carlu in Toronto and streamed live by CBC Music.

Did your favourite Canadian album make it? Have a look at the list below.

The 2016 Polaris Music Prize Long List

Art Bergmann — The Apostate
Justin Bieber — Purpose
Black Mountain — IV
Jean-Michel Blais — II
Basia Bulat — Good Advice
Daniel Caesar — Pilgrim’s Paradise
Tanika Charles — Soul Run
City and Colour — If I Should Go Before You
Coeur de pirate — Roses
Dead Obies — Gesamtkunstwerk
Destroyer — Poison Season
Dilly Dally — Sore
Drake — VIEWS
Essaie pas — Demain est une autre nuit
Fred Fortin — Ultramarr
FOXTROTT — A Taller Us
Grimes — Art Angels
Half Moon Run — Sun Leads Me On
Veda Hille — Love Waves
Jazz Cartier — Hotel Paranoia
Carly Rae Jepsen — E•MO•TION
Junior Boys — Big Black Coat
Kaytranada — 99.90%
Jessy Lanza — Oh No
Majid Jordan — Majid Jordan
Michelle McAdorey — Into Her Future
Nap Eyes — Thought Rock Fish Scale
Safia Nolin — Limoilou
Operators — Blue Wave
Peaches — Rub
PUP — The Dream Is Over
Daniel Romano — Mosey
Andy Shauf — The Party
The Strumbellas — HOPE
Suuns — Hold/Still
U.S. Girls — Half Free
Un Blonde — Good Will Come To You
The Weeknd — Beauty Behind the Madness
White Lung — Paradise
Donovan Woods — Hard Settle, Ain’t Troubled