When it comes to the Polaris Prize, there is no medium list. Today, the long one was unveiled with a kaleidoscope of styles including the indigenous-flavoured EDM of A Tribe Called Red, the heavy metal of Anciients, the artistic singer-songwriter prowess of Philippe B, the exquisite new wave of Louise Burns, the superb electro dance pop of Le Couleur, the ambitious project of folk artist Fiver, the alternative pop of Geoffroy, the delicious mainstream pop of Carly Rae Jepsen, the beauteous adult contemporary of Klô Pelgag, the sizzling sythpop of Peter Peter, the 60s pop of Tuns, and the cool-groove R&B of Charlotte Day Wilson.
In its own words, “The Polaris Music Prize is a not-for-profit organization that annually honours and rewards artists who produce Canadian music albums of distinction. A select panel of music critics judge and award the Prize without regard to musical genre or commercial popularity.”
The 40 albums on this year’s long list were presented earlier today at the National Arts Centre (NAC) in Ottawa. The albums are as below.
A Tribe Called Red – We Are The Halluci Nation
Alaclair Ensemble – Les Frères Cueilleurs
Anciients – Voice of the Void
Arkells – Morning Report
Philippe B – La grande nuit vidéo
BADBADNOTGOOD – IV
Louise Burns – Young Mopes
Chocolat – Rencontrer Looloo
Clairmont The Second – Quest For Milk and Honey
Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
Antoine Corriveau – Cette chose qui cognait au creux de sa poitrine sans vouloir s’arrêter
Le Couleur – P.O.P.
Marie Davidson – Adieux Au Dancefloor
Mac Demarco – This Old Dog
Gord Downie – Secret Path
Drake – More Life
Feist – Pleasure
Figure Walking – The Big Other
Fiver – Audible Songs From Rockwood
Geoffroy – Coastline
Hannah Georgas – For Evelyn
Japandroids – Near To The Wild Heart Of Life
Carly Rae Jepsen – E.MO.TION Side B
B.A. Johnston – Gremlins III
Lisa LeBlanc – Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen?
The New Pornographers – Whiteout Conditions
Klô Pelgag – L’Étoile thoracique
Peter Peter – Noir Éden
Lido Pimienta – La Papessa
Jessie Reyez – Kiddo
Daniel Romano – Modern Pressure
The Sadies – Northern Passages
John K. Samson – Winter Wheat
Tanya Tagaq – Retribution
The Tragically Hip – Man Machine Poem
TUNS – TUNS
Leif Vollebekk – Twin Solitude
Weaves – Weaves
The Weeknd – Starboy
Charlotte Day Wilson – CDW
Only 188 titles made the first ballots of the 201-member jury.
The list was announced by past multiple nominees Kathleen Edwards and The Acorn’s Rolf Klausener joined by Polaris jurors Lana Gay and Erik Leijon. Special guest Philippe B was in attendance to perform music from his excellent 2017 long-listed album, La grande nuit vidéo.
The 10-album short list will be revealed on July 13, and the winning album will be determined at the Polaris Gala September 18 at The Carlu in Toronto. The event will be livestreamed at CBCMusic.ca.
Albums eligible for Polaris nomination were those released between June 1, 2016 and May 31, 2017. The two lists are determined by a jury of music journalists, broadcasters and music bloggers from across Canada. Eleven from the pool are selected to serve on the Grand Jury, and they choose the 2017 Polaris Music Prize winner who will receive $50,000. Each of the nine other Short List artists will receive $3,000 courtesy of Slaight Music.