When this whole process began, music wonks such as myself nominated over 200 albums for consideration by the Polaris Music Prize jury. Last month, a cull cut that down to the Long List of 40 songs. More voting followed and now we’ve arrived at the ten finalists for this year award. They are (in alphabetical order):
Backxwash – God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It
Caribou – Suddenly (repeat finalist and former winner)
Junia-T – Studio Monk
Kaytranada – Bubba (repeat finalist and former winner)
nêhiyawak – nipiy
Pantayo – Pantayo
Lido Pimienta – Miss Colombia (repeat finalist and former winner)
Jessie Reyez – Before Love Came To Kill Us
U.S. Girls – Heavy Light
Witch Prophet – DNA Activation
In a couple of months, an eight-member grand jury will convene (virtually, no doubt) to debate the merits of each of these records. When the fighting stops, one album will be named the best Canadian release of the last year. The winner will get $50,000 while the remaining nine will receive $3,000.
Sadly, there will not be a gala this year (f**king virus!). Instead, there will be a pre-recorded event broadcast on the CBC’s Gem streaming service along with Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Let the debating begin.