Quebec artists dominate while Toronto is represented by Jessie Reyez, Haviah Mighty, PUP and Shad
The 10 albums in contention for the 2019 Polaris Music Prize were announced on Tuesday (July 16), and artists from Montreal and Toronto have scored big.
Brampton MC Haviah Mighty‘s 13th Floor, hip-hop artist Shad‘s A Short Story About War, PUP‘s Morbid Stuff and Jessie Reyez‘s Being Human In Public are the Toronto albums that made this year’s the list.
Meanwhile, artists from Quebec comprise half the short list. Four albums by Montreal-based acts landed nominations: techno musician Marie Davidson‘s Working Class Woman, folk singer/songwriter Elisapie‘s The Ballad Of The Runaway Girl, singer/songwriter Dominique Fils-Aimé‘s Stay Tuned! and Les Louanges‘s (aka Vincent Roberge) La nuit est une panthère.
Hull psych-jazz outfit FET.NAT‘s Le Mal rounds out the Quebec albums.
The lone nominee not from Central Canada is Haisla Nation hip-hop duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids for their album Trapline.
The short list was selected by a panel of 199 jurors – including NOW staffers Richard Trapunski, Carla Gillis and me – less than a month after the 40-album long list was revealed. The annual award honours Canadian albums released between May 1, 2018 and May 21, 2019. Judging is based on artistic merit – genre or sales are not considered.
The winner will be revealed at a gala in Toronto on September 16 and receive $50,000 as well as the title of Canadian Album of the Year. The other nine short list nominees receive $3,000 each.
Toronto-based acts who landed on the long list but didn’t make the cut include Shawn Mendes, Dilly Dally, Tanika Charles, LAL, Clairmont the Second, Sandro Perri, Tim Baker, Charlotte Cornfield, Dizzy, Orville Peck, La Force, Sydanie, TOBi, Kaia Kater and Fucked Up.
Past Polaris winners have included Jeremy Dutcher, Lido Pimienta, Tanya Tagaq, Feist and Arcade Fire.
Here is the full short list, with links to NOW reviews and interviews:
Marie Davidson, Working Class Woman
Elisapie, The Ballad Of The Runaway Girl
FET.NAT, Le Mal
Dominique Fils-Aimé, Stay Tuned!
Les Louanges, La nuit est une panthère
Haviah Mighty, 13th Floor
PUP, Morbid Stuff
Jessie Reyez, Being Human In Public
Shad, A Short Story About A War
Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Trapline