Drake, METZ, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Death From Above 1979, Whitehorse, Alvvays, Cold Specks and Jazz Cartier are among the 40 artists whose albums made the 2015 Polaris Music Prize long list, which was announced Tuesday (June 16) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, at The Carleton.
The Polaris Music Prize, founded by Steve Jordan, recognizes the Canadian album of the year, judged solely on artistic merit, without consideration of genre or record sales.
The 196-member jury -- comprised of music journalists, broadcasters and music bloggers from across Canada -- selected 197 titles on the first ballot, which asks for their top give picks. The 10-album short list will be announced July 16 at Toronto's Carlu, the same venue where the Polaris Music Prize Gala will be held on Sept. 21.
The eligibility period for the 2015 Polaris Music Prize runs from June 1, 2014, to May 31, 2015.
Eleven people are selected from the larger jury pool to serve on the grand jury. While the gala festivities proceed -- including performances and tributes to each nominated album -- the jury is sequestered, debating and voting on what will eventually be declared onstage as the Polaris Music Prize winner. None of those jury members knows the outcome until it is announced onstage.
The winner receives $50,000, upped from last year's $30,000. Courtesy of Slaight Music, each of the nine other short-listed artists will receive $3,000.
Past winners are 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).
2015 Polaris Music Prize long list (listen to all the albums on Spotify):
Absolutely Free – Absolutely Free
The Acorn – Vieux Loup
Lydia Ainsworth – Right From Real
Alvvays – Alvvays
Arkells – High Noon
Rich Aucoin – Ephemeral
BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah – Sour Soul
Bahamas – Bahamas Is Afie
The Barr Brothers – Sleeping Operator
Braids – Deep in the Iris
Steph Cameron – Sad-Eyed Lonesome Lady
Caribou – Our Love
Jazz Cartier – Marauding in Paradise
Jennifer Castle – Pink City
Cold Specks – Neuroplasticity
Louis-Jean Cormier – Les grandes artères
Death From Above 1979 – The Physical World
Drake – If You're Reading This It's Too Late
Frazey Ford – Indian Ocean
Tobias Jesso Jr. – Goon
B.A. Johnston – Shit Sucks
Pierre Kwenders – Le dernier empereur Bantou
Lee Harvey Osmond – Beautiful Scars
Jean Leloup – À Paradis City
METZ – II
Milk & Bone – Little Mourning
Tre Mission – Stigmata
The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers
Joel Plaskett – The Park Avenue Sobriety Test
Buffy Sainte-Marie – Power in the Blood
Elizabeth Shepherd – The Signal
Siskiyou – Nervous
Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld – Never were the way she was
Various Artists – Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock and Country, 1966-1985
Viet Cong – Viet Cong
Patrick Watson – Love Songs for Robots
The Weather Station – Loyalty
White Lung – Deep Fantasy
Whitehorse – Leave No Bridge Unburned
Young Guv – Ripe 4 Luv