Drake, The Weeknd, Carly Rae Jepsen and Leonard Cohen Make Polaris Music Prize Long List – Billboard

The Weeknd, Drake, Leonard Cohen, Carly Rae Jepsen, The Tragically Hip (plus its frontman Gord Downie) and Feist are among the 40 artists whose albums comprise the 2017 long list vying for the title of Canada’s album of the year, as determined by a jury of selected music media. 

The announcement was made this afternoon from the National Arts Centre in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa and webcast live on the Polaris Music Prize’s Facebook page.  Past Polaris nominees Kathleen Edwards and The Acorn’s Rolf Klausener, along with Polaris jurors Lana Gay (Indie 88 radio) and Erik Leijon (freelance journalist) did the honors.  Philippe B, whose La grande nuit video album is on the long list, performed at the event.

Polaris Music Prize founder and executive director Steve Jordan, who was home in Toronto last night accepting the Canadian Independent Music Association’s Unsung Hero Award for his creation of the prize and tireless promotion of Canadian independent music, told the room,  “I love my job. I spent the past few days listening to the records that are on the Polaris Long list,” before plugging today’s announcement and flying this morning to Ottawa.

For the long list, the 201-member jury (up from 192 last year) — comprised of music journalists, broadcasters and music bloggers from across Canada and representing all genres — selected 188 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, 2016 to May 31, 2017. 

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 at Toronto’s Carlu on July 13 and the winner of Canada’s best album of the year, at the end of the Polaris Gala on Sept. 18, as decided by an 11-member grand jury behind closed doors. 

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: 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 2017 Polaris Music Prize Long List is as follows:

A Tribe Called Red — We Are The Halluci Nation

Alaclair Ensemble — Les Frères Cueilleurs

Anciients — Voice of the Void

Arkells — Morning Report

Philippe B — La grande nuit vidéo

BADBADNOTGOOD — IV

Louise Burns — Young Mopes

Chocolat — Rencontrer Looloo 

Clairmont The Second — Quest For Milk and Honey

Leonard Cohen — You Want It Darker

Antoine Corriveau — Cette chose qui cognait au creux de sa poitrine sans vouloir s’arrêter

Le Couleur — P.O.P.

Marie Davidson — Adieux Au Dancefloor

Mac Demarco — This Old Dog         

Gord Downie — Secret Path

Drake — More Life

Feist — Pleasure

Figure Walking — The Big Other

Fiver — Audible Songs From Rockwood

Geoffroy — Coastline

Hannah Georgas — For Evelyn

Japandroids — Near To The Wild Heart Of Life

Carly Rae Jepsen — E.MO.TION Side B

B.A. Johnston — Gremlins III

Lisa LeBlanc — Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen?

The New Pornographers — Whiteout Conditions

Klô Pelgag — L’Étoile thoracique

Peter Peter — Noir Éden

Lido Pimienta — La Papessa

Jessie Reyez — Kiddo

Daniel Romano — Modern Pressure

The Sadies — Northern Passages

John K. Samson — Winter Wheat

Tanya Tagaq — Retribution

The Tragically Hip — Man Machine Poem

TUNS — TUNS

Leif Vollebekk — Twin Solitude                   

Weaves — Weaves

The Weeknd — Starboy

Charlotte Day Wilson — CDW

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