Polaris Music Prize Rolls Out 2011 Short List

> Jul 06 2011

Polaris Music Prize Rolls Out 2011 Short List
By Alex HudsonYes, folks, we're officially in the thick of Polaris Music Prize season. Last month, the prestigious Canadian award unveiled the long list for its 2011 instalment, whose top prize is worth $30,000 (up from $20,000 in past years). Today (July 6), the organizers announced the short list.

These are the top ten Canadians albums from the past calendar year (June 2010 to May 2011), as decided by a jury of journalists, bloggers and broadcasters from across the country. The choices are based on artistic merit alone, with no regard to sales or label affiliation. This year, all artists on this short list will get a $2,000 prize.

The short list contenders for this year's Polaris Music Prize are, in alphabetical order:

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Austra - Feel It Break
Braids - Native Speaker
Destroyer - Kaputt
Galaxie - Tigre et Diesel
Hey Rosetta! - Seeds
Ron Sexsmith - Long Player Late Bloomer
Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges
Timber Timbre - Creep on Creepin' On
The Weeknd - House of Balloons

Many may see Arcade Fire's The Suburbs as the frontrunner here. After all, it topped the Billboard charts the week of its release, won a Grammy and was Exclaim!'s favourite pop and rock album of last year. Then again, few could have predicated Karkwa's 2010 victory, so this is still anyone's game.

The grand jury will announce the winner on September 19 at CTV's Concert Hall studios in Toronto's Masonic Temple.

Other past winners are: Final Fantasy for He Poos Clouds (2006), Patrick Watson for Close to Paradise (2007), Caribou for Andorra (2008) and Fucked Up for The Chemistry of Common Life (2009).

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Braids suck. But we all know this award will to their Royal Highasses, The Dukes and Duchesses of Fuckall, "Arcade Fire".
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If you think Braids suck, I shudder to think what you actually like.
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Well put, NP#2. Also, Karkwa never should have won last year. Fucking francophone token band that won by having enough people on the jury think that they were "Ok."
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Start your shuddering then. I am expressing the view that this buzz band is actually not that good.

I also don't like Destroyer and that dumb soft rock record he put out last year, but hey, that's just me.

Also, Arcard Fire is overblown, pretentious stadium rock for rich people (blasphemy!).
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Let us guess... You voted for Nickleback.
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Just because somebody doesn't like Braids, Destroyer, or Arcade Fire doesn't mean they like Nickelback. There's a whole world of better indie music out there, and you don't necessarily need to look outside Canada.
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Braids : Animal Collective rip-off pretentious fucks.
Colin Stetson : Avant-Jazz discovered by hipsters. Go buy a Braxton record instead, for fucks sake.
Arcade Fire : Their worst album

It's a real shame that Le Noise isnt nominated anymore, by far my favorite canadian album of '10. I hope Destroyer wins.
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Braids does suck. Public Strain should've won.
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I'd love for Timber Timbre or Galaxie to take it, hate to see The Weeknd's fad crap win, and I'd be okay with anyone else.
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Arcade Fire - The Suburbs = yawn
Austra - Feel It Break = haven't heard
Braids - Native Speaker = sure, why not
Destroyer - Kaputt = hmmm
Galaxie - Tigre et Diesel = haven't heard
Hey Rosetta! - Seeds = yawn
Ron Sexsmith - Long Player Late Bloomer = haven't heard
Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges = not for me
Timber Timbre - Creep on Creepin' On = see above
The Weeknd - House of Balloons = yay

Drake and Sarah Harmer probably suffered as a result of coming out way back in June. Christine Fellows and Emm Gryner undoubtedly suffered as a result of the fact that critics don't care about them.
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this is an /ok/ shortlist even though many (maybe all) of these albums have been hyped on every other music review website...i've heard all of them and i would be sad if Arcade Fire took the prize - The Suburbs was not that good (although i admit that it was cool for them to win a grammy, even though that doesn't mean much).
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I wish that Kollaps Tradixionales by Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra was nominated. It is unique compared to all the short listed bands and very powerful. The suburbs is not a bad album at all and I dont see how their success can be seen as a bad thing (stadium rockers? give me a break).
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Timber Timbre is my long odds favorite. Love that creepy gothic folk that sends shivers up and down my spine. So different.
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Although I liked "The Suburbs" more than some people here, I don't think it should win the Polaris. It's a decent enough album, but several albums that were as good or better didn't make the longlist at all, and it's not as though Arcade Fire really need the help anyway.

Rather, out of this list I'm definitely pulling for Timber Timbre. Braids didn't actually make much impression on me one way or the other; I neither hated nor loved it. Colin Stetson, I hated everything except the Laurie Anderson song.
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None of these bands actually "need" this money, least of all Arcade Fucker.

The Polaris is a joke, anyway. If was really about supporting independent artists and their work, this list would be all bands and artists that have never appeared in any national press. This idea of giving it to 'indie' acts that already have an established presence is a farce.

And to the douche up top who said that Karwa were a "francophone token band "- listen up, idiot. Quebec is consistently a leader in Canadian culture (see: Arcade Finger). Why shouldn't they get some love?

Finally- it sucks there aren't any solo women on this list. I support the point of the person who said "Christine Fellows and Emm Gryner undoubtedly suffered as a result of the fact that critics don't care about them." Maybe if they were waify, dirty indie girls who 'vocalize' over awful electronic shit they'd get some attention.
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"The Polaris is a joke, anyway. If was really about supporting independent artists and their work, this list would be all bands and artists that have never appeared in any national press. This idea of giving it to 'indie' acts that already have an established presence is a farce."

Well, the thing about that is, the Polaris never claimed to support independent artists. The award simply supports Canadian music. Here's the award's mission statement, as taken from its website:
"A not-for-profit organization that honours, celebrates and rewards creativity and diversity in Canadian recorded music. Polaris recognizes and markets albums of the highest artistic integrity, without regard to musical genre, professional affiliation, or sales history. it is is adjudicated by selected music journalists, broadcasters and bloggers."

Granted, the jury bias tends to lean towards independent music, but there are no requirements to do so. It's actually the opposite. Jury members are supposed to ignore sales figures and label affiliations, and just vote for the best albums of the year. The rest is up to the collective tastes of over 200 music geeks from across Canada.
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Okay, I concede that point: however, there's no denying that this award is associated with a certain kind of hipster subculture which the mainstream mislabels as 'indie'.

We should still be seeing more choices on this list that make you say "Who?". That's whay happened to me with Karkwa, and I was pleasantly surprised by their record.
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I'm actually annoyed a few of the albums on the original list got eliminated. All in all, I'm disappointed, with the exception of Ron Sexsmith, Timber Timbre, and the Weeknd, it seems as if the Polaris has gone for the more "mainstream" Canadian indie releases.
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Nobody is ever going to please you goons. Go stroke it to your favourite album and look at yourself in the mirror while crying that polaris has their own opinion. There are many artists I would have loved to see on the list but it is not my choice. Fuck off with your views.
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The irate negativity geared toward these bands seems to be much more pretentious than the actual bands themselves.
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i saw braids in ottawa for their cd release party, and they bloody well *did* suck. i'll give them the benefit of the doubt, though, re: stage fright, and give them another chance next week. the record is solid...

the newish (post-punk rock) mt. zion stuff is all pretty uneven, and i have a fear that a polaris prize would ruin the supposedly uncorruptable efrim menuck.

arcade fire is absolutely tripe...

i have to give the prize to austra, although i think hey rosetta! is worthy of the huge break they'll inevitably get.
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dear everyone who is arguing about who made the shortlist:

at least it's not Justin Bieber, Theory of a Deadman or Nickelback. Go fuck yourselves. Polaris is about SUPPORTING MUSIC. Not making people rich or getting them to argue over some anonymous exclaim comment thread that will make them change their minds.

I'm sure all of the listed bands are great people and deserve to win for their own different reasons.
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Destroyer.

But. I'm American, so what do I know.
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