The short list for the 2020 Polaris Music Prize was announced on Wednesday (July 15), with DJ/Producer Kaytranada (Bubba), Caribou (Suddenly) and singer/songwriter Jessie Reyez (Before Love Came to Kill Us) among the artists nominated for the award celebrating the best Canadian album. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual show will not be held in person, but the winner will be announced during a “cinematic tribute” on Oct. 19.
Other artists on the short list include rapper Backxwash (God Has Nothing to do With This Leave Him Out of It), Toronto rapper Junia-T (Studio Monk), bands nêhiyawak (nipiy), Pantayo (Pantayo), Afro-Colombian singer Lido Pimienta (Miss Colombia), Witch Prophet (DNA Activation) and three-time Polaris short listers U.S. Girls (Heavy Light).
Three of the five previously nominated acts on the list, Caribou, Kaytranada and Pimienta, have won before; Reyez was nominated last year for the Being Human in Public EP and U.S. Girls’ Half Free and In a Poem Unlimited were nominated in 2016 and 2018, respectively. Among those who made it onto the Long List announced in June are Allie X, Andy Shauf, Daniel Caesar, dvsn and The Weeknd.
The Polaris Music Prize awards $50,000 to the artist who creates the Canadian Album of the Year, which is judged on artistic merit, without consideration of genre or sales. The nine other nominated acts on the Short list will get $3,000. Eligible albums were released between May 1, 2019 and May 31, 2020.