Polaris Music Prize Shortlist

Metz, Metric rep Toronto on Polaris Prize Shortlist

The Polaris Music Prize will bestow its eighth award this fall, and today the finalists were whittled down from 40 to 10 based on the votes of over 200 Canadian journalists and music heads. A smaller panel will decide the winner September 23rd, in (where else) Toronto.

A welcome addiction to the oh so boring Juno awards and the tween-oriented MMVA's picks for album of the year, the Polaris Prize is in place to recognize, in their words, "albums of the highest artistic integrity, without regard to musical genre, professional affiliation, or sales history."

Honestly the short list is above all else a cross country sampling of the tastes of Canada's music media. It's a good way for music fans and artists to keep tabs on our country's music journalists and know when we (they?) go too far (some curmudgeonly Canadians will argue Feist's Metals winning last year was just that). There's also the matter of the $30,000 prize, which past winners have developed a habit of donating to charity.

Toronto, as expected, featured strongly on the long list, and while 2012's Short List featured more local talent than 2013's, Metric is back in the running for a record breaking third shot with Synthetica, while hardcore darlings Metz have are in the ring for the first time, to the delight of many Toronto music fans. Also worth a mention: wild card Zaki Ibrahim, a BC born r&b singer and self described "citizen of the world" – seems about right – who has been Toronto based in the past. Ibrahim, I can't wait to check out Every Opposite, and beg apologies for having never heard your sultry music before.

I'm surprised that both Hayden and Evening Hymns didn't make the short list, but once the long list got down to about fifteen entries, it was anyone's guess who the voters would knock out.

The full Polaris Prize Shortlist:

  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor - 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
  • Zaki Ibrahim - Every Opposite
  • Metric - Synthetica
  • Purity Ring - Shrines
  • Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light
  • Tegan And Sara - Heartthrob
  • A Tribe Called Red - Nation II Nation
  • Whitehorse - The Fate Of The World Depends On This Kiss
  • Young Galaxy - Ultramarine

No word yet on who will be performing at the Polaris Gala in September, but we have our fingers crossed for Ottawa's A Tribe Called Red. I know fans in the oh so hoity-toity (just kidding! I mean super chill) audience will be able to keep things respectful. For now, let us know what you think of the Short List, who will win (keep it clean), and if you haven't pressed play on some of these albums yet, get on it.

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