Polaris Shortlist Announced

The countdown clock is finally winding down. We’re just hours away from the announcement of this year’s Polaris Music Prize Shortlist. The 40 albums below will soon cut down to ten.

  • Art Bergmann, The Apostate
  • Justin Bieber, Purpose
  • Black Mountain, IV
  • Jean-Michel Blais, Il
  • Basia Bulat, Good Advice
  • Daniel Caesar, Pilgrim’s Paradise
  • Tanika Charles, Soul RunD
  • City and Colour, If I Should Go Before You
  • Cœur de pirate, Roses
  • Dead Obies, Gesamtkunstwerk
  • Destroyer, Poison Season
  • Dilly Dally, Sore
  • Drake, Views
  • Essaie pas, Demain est une autre nuit
  • Fred Fortin, Ultramarr
  • Foxtrott, A Taller Us
  • Grimes, Art Angels
  • Half Moon Run, Sun Leads Me On
  • Veda Hille, Love Waves
  • Jazz Cartier, Hotel Paranoia
  • Carly Rae Jepsen, E•MO•TION
  • Junior Boys, Big Black Coat
  • Kaytranada, 99.9%
  • Jessy Lanza, Oh No
  • Majid Jordan, Majid Jordan
  • Michelle McAdorey, Into Her Future
  • Nap Eyes, Thought Rock Fish Scale
  • Safia Nolin, Limoilou
  • Operators, Blue Wave
  • Peaches, Rub
  • PUP, The Dream Is Over
  • Daniel Romano, Mosey
  • Andy Shauf, The Party
  • The Strumbellas, Hope
  • Suuns, Hold/Still
  • U.S. Girls, Half Free
  • Un Blonde, Good Will Come to You
  • The Weeknd, Beauty Behind the Madness
  • White Lung, Paradise
  • Donovan Woods, Hard Settle, Ain’t Troubled

The livestream now over at what do you think of this list?


Polaris 2016 Facts

  • This is perhaps the most “mainstream” long list ever produced by Polaris, featuring the likes of Justin Beiber, Carly Rae Jepsen, Drake and The Weeknd
  • Just one album on this year’s long list is a self-titled release; that of Majid Jordan
  • This year’s nominees aren’t big on punctuation. Just five albums feature anything beyond the alphanumeric in their titles. Donovan Woods was the most diverse in his punctuating, using both a comma and an apostrophe in Hard Settle, Ain’t Troubled. Bullet points and apostrophes appear most often with two each (Carly Rae Jepsen’s E•MO•TION, Donovan Woods’ nomination and Daniel Caesar’s Pilgrim’s Paradise)
  • Dead Obies take the prize for this year’s tongue twister. Hoping they make the Shortlist just so we can hear the announcer and all the radio hosts stumble over Gesamtkunstwerk
  • You’re not too badly off this year if you didn’t pay attention in French class. Essaie pas and Coeur de Pirate are the only glaringly obvious francophone artists on the list (correct me if there are more,) and Coeur is significantly bilingual on Roses
  • This post is the most tagged ever (81!) in OurBasement’s short history

Relisten to DarBarSpecial’s Polaris Long List Playlist!

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237 thoughts on “Polaris Shortlist Announced

  1. So Polaris is supposed to be “artistic merit” regardless of popularity, right? It never works out that way though, so having the likes of Bieber and Drake on there is not a good sign.

    Like

  2. Nick, 6:50 definitely yes, that’s about exactly the amount of information i need to know about Polaris, thanks

    Like

  3. Wesley, I don’t think so. The system used up to now, at the very end — the jury of is it five people? getting together and thrashing it out in person, from ten finalists — has yielded enough unexpected (and sometimes disliked) wins to allay that fear. I think the Biebers etc. are there mostly as some sort of clickbait, i.e. as a sign of inclusivety, of not assuming that popularity means no artistic merit.

    Like

  4. @Wes 7:13am,
    The closest thing we have to that is the Elfster list for our Secret Santa that keeps track of birthdays but in this case Facebook told me.

    Like

  5. I think Facebook tells everybody when it’s your birthday whether you want it to or not. Yes, Happy Birthday, DarBar!

    Like

  6. For Old Abe: incredible the data processing used in F1:
    “Here, data is king. McLaren’s super computers run 300,000 race simulations per second, matching data taken from the car in real time against predictive models to optimize the strategy.”
    ” “A Grand Prix car is an intelligent vehicle with phenomenal processing power,” explained Dennis, describing the task of managing and formatting the data as, “complex beyond comprehension.” There are up to 300 sensors fitted to an F1 car, and data is often processed by a specific part of it — braking force, tire pressure, vibration, and G forces are all monitored and processed by each individual wheel hub, for example.”
    http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/inside-mclaren-f1-racing-mission-control-room/

    Like

  7. loozr, not a nice name, but yesterday, I was referring to FaceRat. Because it’ll rat you out.

    Like

  8. Neither CBC Music player nor Spotify are interested in working for me this morning. If it’s something wonky with my browser, at least it’s not affecting the KEXP player.

    Like

  9. OK, this song isn’t by The Cure, it’s by the Shout Out Louds, who I’ve never heard of, but they kind of sound like they might be Cure fans.

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  10. I guess they’re curing the scourge of not enough Cure songs being played on the radio, although I didn’t think that was a problem.

    Like

  11. @Nick I see your Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist quote. I clap.

    Shout Out Louds are amaaaazing! One of my all time non Canadian favourites. They are from Sweden.

    Like

  12. Also, it’s not that they are massive The Cure fans. Adam Olenius’ voice is scarily similar to Robert Smith’s

    Like

  13. And yes, KEXP is very Cure-y today. Was starting to wonder if someone died a la the all Prince show the did following his death.

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  14. Polaris Prize announcement day! Sweet!

    Remember how Radio 3 host Alana Stuart used to pronounce “Polaris”? Pole-ARE-isss.
    God she was so hot. Such a babe.
    I wonder what ever became of her?

    Like

  15. Old Abe, 7:58, i like what KEXP is doing today, recognizing the (much overlooked) influence of a seminal band, and i must say that’s an area where R3 failed to some extent; always bring new music but it did little to recognize it’s own musical history and past influences that built the CanCon genre, sure they nodded to that history occasionally, but they never played the older music.

    Like

  16. (…I mean the fact that she was on the long list should have been a clue, but clearly I wasn’t paying attention).

    Like

  17. Right, that’s right. Fred Penner hosting it was one of the reasons I didn’t watch the gala last year. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with Fred Penner–but to me he’s just a guy from Winnipeg, you know? I don’t have any leftover childhood affection for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. loweeda, I agree; it’s all very nice to go all childhoody, but this Penner thing’s overstayed its welcome by years. It’s now a cliché.

    Like

  19. Just a guy from Winnipeg? I’m gonna tell Fred you said that, loweeda! Maybe it’s to prove Polaris isn’t about popularity? Or is he actually more popular now or something?

    Like

  20. shufle, the first sentence in the wiki on it: “The Polaris Music Prize is a music award annually given to the best full-length Canadian album based on artistic merit, regardless of genre, sales, or record label.”

    Like

  21. Wes: it’s true, though! As a fact, that sentence about Fred cannot be denied. Like many other guys, he is from Winnipeg 🙂

    And he seems to be popular all over again. He plays campus pub tours and festivals and everything. I don’t get it, but it’s yet another way that I am An Old, I guess.

    Like

  22. But more importantly: PUP’s on the shortlist! yay PUP! and Grimes!

    Those are my top 2. The Andy Shauf album is good, too, and I’m gonna listen to it again right now.

    Like

  23. Wes 8:29, yes, KEXP is a popular choice around here, and bonus…. they play a fair amount of CanCon

    Like

  24. I’m also hoping someone from either two of my favourite Saskatchewan bands will introduce Andy at the Gala >.>

    I tried to make that so cryptic it’s probably terribly written.

    Like

  25. Welp, my next 3.5 hours of listening is spoken for as it’s playlist testing time.

    Yes, you guys gave me 3 and a half hours worth of songs for the Summer playlist. It’s pretty great, you guys. Pretty great.

    Like

  26. WHY DO THEY HAVE TO APPEAR WHEN I’M SAYING SOMETHING EMBARRASSING ABOUT THEM?!

    Hi, LV. Please don’t go.

    Like

  27. @donna I wanted to say name that but I didn’t want to sound like I was calling you up (is that the word I’m looking for?) for saying “Just a guy from Winnipeg”

    Like

  28. Hi there. I just make sure to stop in every morning to read the daily topic and see what’s going on. Leaving has more to do with work than awkwardness.

    I actually barely process when you mention LV and focus my energy getting stoked when people chat about PUP, etc.

    Like

  29. It could be a Kids in the Hall sketch! And I think we’ve already named enough Guys from Winnipeg for each one of the Kids to be one. Someone’s people should call someone else’s people and make this happen.

    Like

  30. Thanks Nick! Nice to see some familiar names around here!
    I’ve listed to all by 12 of the long list albums, hoping to get through the rest over the next week or two. Some good stuff, only a few albums that I’m not a fan of.

    Like

  31. i thought the apricot fucktrumpet was going to pick a running mate today/this morning? no matter…. i’m sure whatever it is, his choice will be purely awful

    Like

  32. A variety show podcast–interesting.

    also interesting: Kevin McDonald is also…wait for it…A GUY FROM WINNIPEG!

    (seriously, he moved there a few years ago now)

    Like

  33. Garfield: in fact, the British Isles are fairly well anchored in place. Hardy har har.

    But really, I don’t think things will end up all-or-nothing; both the rest of Europe and GB need harmonised regulations, so…

    Like

  34. Heyyy!
    ANOTHER amazing post! Wooo! How do you find the time @Nick what with hightailing it all over the place to see awesome free shows etc…Did you manage to catch a sighting of the band after I left?!

    Like

  35. Hey Rosetta! were so so good. I want to musically marry Tim. The whole band in fact. A french horn AND cello AND violin, trumpet etc…tight as a drum.
    Happy sigh.
    I heard part of the Cure fest on KEXP as I drove home. I switched to cbc1 when Joy DIvision came on….sorry if you love JD but I’ve had enough of them for a lifetime!

    Like

  36. loweeda, @8:53

    WHHHHAAAAT!?!?!??!???

    What is happening in Winnipeg? And here I thought it was all mosquitos and colder than Mars.

    Like

  37. Reg 9:03
    I like this a lot more than Fred Penner.
    Tom Power is a very funny man.
    (I don’t know who Amanda is. I couldn’t even really hear her announcing the Shortlist. Her mic wasn’t working.)

    Like

  38. According to Wikipedia’s list of people from Winnipeg, Danny Finkleman is A GUY FROM WINNIPEG! He used to host “Finkleman’s 45’s” which was my favourite CBC show until he retired back in the mid 2000’s.
    I’m on a real Winnipeg kick right now!

    Like

  39. Maloo
    No HR! sightings or signings. 😦
    But I’m just two records away from completing my collection.
    Speaking of, anybody have a copy of the Plan Your Escape LP (white cover, not brown) or A Cup of Kindness and Red Songs EPs they’d be willing to part with?

    Like

  40. I think my pick for the Polaris Prize is either Andy Shauf or White Lung. Normally I don’t like punk music too much but I listened to the White Lung album a few times when the CBC Music app was streaming it, and I liked it. It reminded me of Hole, the 90’s band.

    Like

  41. My favourite from the shortlist that I’ve listed to so far is definitely Basia Bulat (love her!) but also really enjoyed PUP and Black Mountain. Couldn’t get into Andy Shauf for whatever reason.

    Like

  42. PUP and Black Mountain are quite different than Andy Shauf so it’s understandable that if you enjoy them you wouldn’t like the other so much!

    Like

  43. I think it’s possible to like music that is “different” than other music. I like both PUP and Andy Shauf. And even–omigod–Mozart!

    Like

  44. Hey all! I’ve listened to 6/10 of the shortlist but I think it looks decent. I agree with people thinking Andy Shauf’s the favourite but I think Black Mountain will draw some solid votes.

    Like

  45. The Avalanches have a new album! I’m hoping it’s all going to be available via Canada Spotify tomorrow.

    (I love Frontier Psychiatrist. Thanks for posting, Russ)

    Like

  46. @funhug… nice ride man! Fun summer rollin’ ahead! Let us know when you get it out on the road and open it up….

    Like

  47. I’m listening to the White Lung album right now and it’s pretty great. Still sticking to my PUP/Grimes ballot, though.

    (related, what’s the name for a trifecta with only two things? A duofecta? A bifecta?)

    Like

  48. “Trifecta” is apparently picking the first 3 in horse racing; picking the winner and the second place was, is called a “perfecta”. Doesn’t work in this case, does it?

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  49. @Donna Dynamic duo?

    (I just googled flights to NYC for Hamilton in late Dec and found one with one stop for 598 USD. I think it’s very cheap for the dates. I had to tell you)

    Like

  50. My high school math teacher taught us horse-race betting* as a way to learn about odds, etc. I used to know all those terms and what they meant. Trifecta, Exactor, Quinella, etc etc

    * best practice for a high school teacher? Teaching kids about gambling? I dunno

    Like

  51. Also, I must admit it took me sometime to get into Andy’s album. I just needed to be in the right mood.

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  52. You’ve got to dangle the carrot to get the donkey to follow Loweeda. Did cartoons teach us nothing?!

    Like

  53. @Donna I don’t have a credit card and there are like three pesos on my bank account (PAYCHECK PLEASE COME NOW. And that would only be like half or a third of the price (._. )). I was hoping the friend (<.< ) I'm going with would pay for both with her card now but she just said "Oh, that's an interesting price"
    Whyyyyy

    Thanks! I love telling you all the Hamilton things as much as I love hearing them from you!

    Like

  54. Maybe “that’s an interesting price” is the first step towards her deciding to pay that price, reginula (PS. I wish I was the friend going with you, but you already know that)

    Iceman: that must be the reason why I have no donkeys following me. No carrots to dangle! (Hi-o in a weird way)

    Like

  55. reg, I just saw your PUP and your PUUUUP notices! THANKS. You know, I was planning to go there for The Holy Gasp and The Sulks, all the more reason now. I’ll have to see about going earlyish, to be sure to get in (although with Bluesfest being on…) Thx again!

    Like

  56. Black Mountain for my birthday. Wooooohooooo!!

    Also I have been saying over and over how great a year Andy Shauf is going to have and now he is short listed! Awesome!

    Like

  57. ALEXANDER HAMILTON.
    HIS NAME IS ALEXANDER HAMILTON.

    There should be some Syrup Trap / Onion article about Hamilton, ON changing the origin of its name to Alexander Hamilton to draw tourists or whatever.

    Like

  58. @Benoit Awesome!! It’s going to be packed and rowdy and sweaty and amazing. Hope you can get in! It’ll be fantastic!

    Like

  59. Grant has to make his pick… What did he say last year? I remember the Tanya Tagaq year being the only one he got right.

    Like

  60. I’m quite lost with the Hamilton comments. No idea what, who or where that is.

    Wait, yes, I know precisely where Hamilton is. But I have a feeling that’s not what you’re talking about.

    Like

  61. I’ve just contacted This Is That with the following:

    “In the spirit of your Banff, Montana (or whatev.), Alberta, proposed name change to attract tourists: changing the name of Hamilton, ON, to Alexander Hamilton, to take advantage of the musical’s popularity and draw Americans across the border.

    Suggested initially by reginula, redirected towards you by me, on our little successor to the CBC R3 blog: https://ourbasementblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/polaris-shortlist-announced-today-at-11-am-edt/#comment-2515

    Like

  62. lee, reginula is a huge fan of Hamilton, the musical. And The Hammer, well, is a bit of an indie music town.

    Like

  63. I might have to change my opinion about Tom Green. He has apparently evolved from someone engaged in jackass stunts to advance his career to someone who really has something to bring to the discussion.

    Like

  64. I see… well, personally, I can’t stand musicals. Add it to the list along with pokeman I guess.

    Hamilton the Musical is about Hamilton the Steel City, right? Right?

    Like

  65. True, loweeda, but: I’ve been reading what you write since 2008 (?), and have seen pictures of, including action pictures with the usual gang of idiots*, at this or that musicky thing.

    * (c) Mad Magazine, who dearly referred to its staff that way.

    Like

  66. MAD Magazine* was really good, if you were into that kind of juvenile humour, such as I was and still can be. It was vastly superior to Cracked, which I didn’t like. And I learned years later just how few people ran MM, along with, or working for, William Gaines.

    * Stoopid toothy face of Alfred E. Neuman: “What, Me Worry?”

    Like

  67. @Donna I guess I am someone who’d arm wrestle for fan rights, but not with you! To me, it’s like “I have this cooooool friend who discovered it sooner than everyone and even saw the original cast. Lin-Manuel even laughed at her jokes once”.

    (That’s probably why I love telling you Hamilton things. Let me be as cool as youuu)

    Like

  68. Hamilton = Alexander Hamilton, American founding father

    Without a father. Got a lot farther by working a lot harder by being a lot smarter, by being a self-starter. By fourteen, they placed him in charge of a Trading charter.

    Sorry.

    Like

  69. @Lee The whole musical started because the guy who wrote it realized Alexander Hamilton had a very hip-hop life. No kidding.

    Like

  70. reginula: you’re getting a Visa so you can come to the US and see Hamilton, so I think we’re pretty evenly matched in our fandom.

    and I’m happy to be included in this particular gang of idiots.

    Like

  71. Is it just me or does white lung sound a heck of a lot like Alexisonfire? I don’t think that is a bad thing I just had a bit of a flash back.

    Like

  72. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DARBAR! !!
    I hope you like your present of Black Mountain making the short list.
    Like I made it happen just for you;)

    Like

  73. In the bags of stuff my sister and I won at a fundraiser, was a gift certificate for a massage and a crystal light healing session (new to me). Today is the day I am using them. Two glorious hours of relaxing! Woot!

    Like

  74. I am not sure sitrucj. I do like White Lung and I liked Alexisonfire. I will have to do some comparison listening.

    Like

  75. @darbar glad you are going to be spoiling yourself today. Enjoy, and do share about the healing session. it is certainly something i have seen available in my home town but have no experience with. curiosity …

    Like

  76. I said earlier that White Lung reminded me of Hole, perhaps they are just one of those bands that is always reminding you of someone else.

    Like

  77. How can people, even brainwashed, think that you get to heaven by being hateful and killing ordinary people… Or that you even accomplish *anything* except getting your organisation hated more than ever, including by people who share your “faith” — with apostrophes only because it’s the killer’s faith.

    Like

  78. Fun. (Still getting prepared to go out. Bike) Hearing *Haitian Divorce* (S. Dan) for the first time! Youtube sequencing…

    Like

  79. @BFO – I LOVE Steely Dan!! Haitian Divorce is a great tune! Well,most of their songs are great 🙂

    Like

  80. Woohoo! I did get into the now-to-be-headlined-by-PUP show, prev. advert. as feat. The Holy Gasp and The Sulks. Back there for the show at 10 (it’s an 8 minute drive away).

    Liked by 1 person

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