Arcade Fire, Daniel Caesar, the late Gord Downie, Sloan, Iskwé and Alvvays are among the 40 artists whose albums have landed on the 2018 Polaris Music Prize long list, up for Canada’s album of the year, as determined by a jury of selected music media.
The announcement was made today from Toronto’s Drake Underground and webcast live on the Polaris Music Prize’s Facebook page (see the full long list below).
For the long list, the 203-member jury (up two from 2017 and 192 from 2016) — comprised of music journalists, broadcasters and music bloggers from across Canada and representing all genres — selected 225 titles on the first ballot, which asks for their top 5 picks to be submitted via Polaris’ password-accessed site.
The albums are judged solely on artistic merit, without consideration of genre, record sales or professional affiliation. The eligibility period for the titles is from June 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018.
From this list of 40, the same jurors are then asked to pick their top 5, which will comprise the 10 albums on the short list. That will be announced July 17.
The winner of Canada’s best album of the year will be declared Sept. 17 at the end of the Polaris Gala, as decided by a series of vote behind closed doors by an 11-member grand jury while the live performances take place. Even the jury does not know the winning album until it is announced onstage.
The winner receives $50,000 (CAD) and the nine other short-listed artists $3,000, courtesy of Slaight Music.
Past winners of the Polaris Music Prize are: Lido Pimienta (2017), Kaytranada (2016), Buffy Sainte-Marie (2015), Tanya Tagaq (2014), Godspeed You! Black Emperor (2013), Feist (2012), Arcade Fire (2011), Karkwa (2010), Fucked Up (2009), Caribou (2008), Patrick Watson (2007), and Final Fantasy / Owen Pallett (2006).
The 2018 Long List:
a l l i e – Nightshade
Alvvays – Antisocialites
Arcade Fire – Everything Now
Bahamas – Earthtones
The Barr Brothers – Queens of the Breakers
Bernice – Puff LP: In the air without a shape
Jean-Michel Blais – Dans ma main
Bonjay – Lush Life
Booji Boys – Weekend Rocker
Philippe Brach – Le silence des troupeaux
Cadence Weapon – Cadence Weapon
Daniel Caesar – Freudian
Jennifer Castle – Angels of Death
Clairmont The Second – Lil Mont from The Ave
Gord Downie – Introduce Yerself
Jeremy Dutcher – Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa
Faith Healer – Try 😉
FRIGS – Basic Behaviour
Zaki Ibrahim – The Secret Life of Planets
Iskwé – The Fight Within
Kacy & Clayton – The Siren’s Song
Lydia Képinski – Premier Juin
Pierre Kwenders – MAKANDA at the End of Space, the Beginning of Time
Pierre Lapointe – La science du coeur
Melissa Laveaux – Radyo Siwèl
Hubert Lenoir – Darlène
Terra Lightfoot – New Mistakes
Loud – Une année record
Milk & Bone – Deception Bay
Partner – In Search Of Lost Time
Propagandhi – Victory Lap
Vivek Shraya & Queer Songbook Orchestra – Part-Time Woman
Sloan – 12
Snotty Nose Rez Kids – The Average Savage
U.S. Girls – In A Poem Unlimited
The Weather Station – The Weather Station
Weaves – Wide Open
Charlotte Day Wilson – Stone Woman
Donovan Woods – Both Ways
YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN – Dirt