The ever-prestigious Polaris Music Prize selection unveiled its short list last night, narrowing it down to the top ten choices from its 40 long-listed albums that released last month:
Dominique Fils-Aimé — Stay Tuned!
Elisapie — The Ballad of the Runaway Girl
Fet.Nat — Le Mal
Haviah Mighty — 13th Floor
Jessie Reyez — Being Human In Public
Les Louanges — La nuit est une panthere
Marie Davidson — Working Class Woman
PUP — Morbid Stuff
Shad — A Short Story About A War
Snotty Nose Rez Kids — Trapline
Each year, Polaris awards $50,000 to the Canadian-based artist who has created the album of the year. Chosen by an independent jury of broadcasters, bloggers, DJs, and music journalists, the winner is selected solely on “artistic merit” without consideration of genre, label affiliation or sales history.
The nine others on the short list are still rewarded with $3,000 each, courtesy of Slaight Music.
Jessie Reyez, Marie Davidson, PUP, Shad, and Snotty Nose Rez Kids are repeat nominees, while Dominique Fils-Aimé, Elisapie, Fet.Nat, Haviah Mighty, and Les Louanges make their debut appearances.
This year marks Reyez’s second inclusion on the shortlist—both of her releases (which were also both EPs as opposed to full records) have received recognition. Shad has made the shortlist three times since 2007. It’s also worth noting that half of the list has French-Canadian roots or are Quebecois artists.
Last year, classically-trained Indigenous artist, Jeremy Dutcher, took home the sought-after award for his album, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa.
The winner will be announced at the Polaris Music Prize Gala on September 16 at Carlu in downtown Toronto.