At a press event at The Drake in Toronto yesterday, The Polaris Music Prize announced the 40 albums on the 2018 Long List.
A jury of 203 members from across Canada whittled down 225 albums to 40. Another round of voting will produce the Short List of 10 candidates for the prestigious and lucrative ($50K) Prize that will be announced on July 17. The winner will be declared champ at the Polaris Gala at The Carlu in Toronto on Sept 17.
All runners-up will receive $3K, courtesy of Slaight Music.
The Polaris Music Prize honours the best album by a Canadian artist in the past 12 months, based "solely on artistic merit, without consideration for genre or record sales."
The 40 Canadian albums competing for the prestigious and lucrative prize contain a few notables who failed to make the cut, including The Weeknd, Broken Social Scene, and Whitehorse. Below, the list of 40 contenders:
a l l i e - Nightshade
Alvvays - Antisocialites
Arcade Fire - Everything Now
Bahamas - Earthtones
The Barr Brothers - Queens of the Breakers
Bernice - Puff LP: In the air without a shape
Jean-Michel Blais - Dans ma main
Bonjay - Lush Life
Booji Boys - Weekend Rocker
Philippe Brach - Le silence des troupeaux
Cadence Weapon - Cadence Weapon
Daniel Caesar - Freudian
Jennifer Castle - Angels of Death
Clairmont The Second - Lil Mont from The Ave
Gord Downie - Introduce Yerself
Jeremy Dutcher - Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa
Faith Healer - Try ;-)
FRIGS - Basic Behaviour
Zaki Ibrahim - The Secret Life of Planets
Iskwé - The Fight Within
Kacy & Clayton - The Siren's Song
Lydia Képinski - Premier Juin
Pierre Kwenders - MAKANDA at the End of Space, the Beginning of Time
Pierre Lapointe - La science du coeur
Melissa Laveaux - Radyo Siwèl
Hubert Lenoir - Darlène
Terra Lightfoot - New Mistakes
Loud - Une année record
Milk & Bone - Deception Bay
Partner - In Search Of Lost Time
Propagandhi - Victory Lap
Vivek Shraya & Queer Songbook Orchestra - Part-Time Woman
Sloan - 12
Snotty Nose Rez Kids - The Average Savage
U.S. Girls - In A Poem Unlimited
The Weather Station - The Weather Station
Weaves - Wide Open
Charlotte Day Wilson - Stone Woman
Donovan Woods - Both Ways
YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN - Dirt
As is customary with such contests, attention was quickly focused upon those notable artists whose albums were omitted from the Long List. That grouping would include releases by Whitehorse, The Weeknd, former Polaris winners Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Broken Social Scene, Preoccupations, Wolf Parade, Neil Young, Stars, Partynextdoor, Rhye, and Matt Mays.
Helping make the Long List announcements at The Drake were 2015 Polaris winner Buffy Sainte-Marie, Toronto city councillor Josh Colle, and Alanna Stuart of Bonjay, whose album Lush Life made the cut. Another current contender, local hip-hop artist Clairmont The Second, performed a short set.