The 2012 Polaris Music Prize Long List

The Polaris Music Prize long list was announced Thursday morning at the Waldorf Hotel. The Waldorf was brimming with Vancouver’s music media who sipped on mimosas and eagerly awaited the 40 nominees. This was the first time the long listed nominees had been announced outside of Toronto. Steve Jordan, founder and executive director of the Polaris Music Prize, was there to help with the announcement along with previous nominees Dan Mangan, Hannah Georgas and Veda Hille. The Polaris Prize started up in 2006 and is loosely modelled on the U.K.’s Mercury Prize. The prize is awarded to the best full length Canadian album based on artistic merit, regardless of genre, sales or record label. The grand winner receives $30,000 and, this year for the first time, short listed nominees receive $2,000 each.

To date the nominees have been a diverse mix of artists. Previous winners include Arcade Fire (2012), Karkwa (2011), F*cked Up (2010) and Caribou (2009). The 40 artists on this year’s long list are just as eclectic, from the globally successful artist Drake to local talent Yukon Blonde. The long list should provide plenty of hearty debate in the following weeks. Who deserves to win, who was tragically overlooked and who are these people? The Polaris long list is a brilliant way to discover new music from the last year that may have passed you by. So here are the 40 long listed nominated albums in handy alphabetical order:

A Tribe Called Red – A Tribe Called Red

Marie-Pierre Arthur – Aux Alentours

Rich Aucoin – We’re All Dying to Live

Avec Pas D’Casque – Astronomie

Azari & III – Azari & III

Bahamas – Barchords

The Barr Brothers – The Barr Brothers

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings – Kings and Queens

Cadence Weapon – Hope in Dirt City

Kathryn Calder – Bright and Vivid

Cannon Bros. – Firecracker/Cloudglow

Coeur de Pirate – Blonde

Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas

Cold Specks – I Predict a Graceful Expulsion

Rose Cousins – We Have Made a Spark

Mark Davis – Eliminate the Toxins

Drake – Take Care

Kathleen Edwards – Voyageur

Feist – Metals

F*cked Up – David Comes to Life

Great Lake Swimmers – New Wild Everywhere

Grimes – Visions

Handsome Furs – Sound Kapital

Janpandroids – Celebration Rock

Dan Mangan – Oh Fortune

Mares of Thrace – The Pilgrimage

Ariane Moffatt – MA

Lindi Ortega – Little Red Boots

Parlovr – Kook Soul

Sandro Perri – Impossible Spaces

Joel Plaskett Emergency – Scrappy Happiness

Ps I love You – Death Dreams

John K. Samson – Provincial

Shooting Guns – Born to Deal in Magic 1952 – 1976

The Slakadeliqs – The Other Side of Tomorrow

Patrick Watson – Adventures in Your Own Backyard

Bry Webb – Provider

The Weeknd – Echoes of Silence

Yamantaka//Sonic Titan – YT//ST

Yukon Blonde – Tiger Talk

There is a lot of exciting BC talent on the long list including Kathryn Calder, Japandroids, Grimes, Dan Mangan, and Yukon Blonde. The 40 nominated albums will be whittled down to 10 on July 17 by a jury of broadcasters and music journalists. The winner will be revealed on September 24th at a gala in Toronto. Now let the speculating begin!

written by: Jessica O’Brien

Jessica O'Brien

Jessica O'Brien

Jessica O'Brien fills many the happy hour as contributing editor and writer for the Vancouver Weekly. She can be found eating all the nibbles at book launches or getting lost in tiny secondhand book stores. Follow her on twitter @jesso_brien

  • Daniel Robichaud (@DRobishow)

    Pumped for Mares of Thrace and Grimes, wooo! But where the hell is David Newberry and Plants & Animals?! 

    • Jessica O’Brien

      Grimes is a hot favorite of mine too. I do agree that Plants & Animals well deserved a nomination.  The beauty of these lists is that they make you realize how many great albums were released this year!

  • Shar

    Awesome Jess!