Here are your Polaris long list albums

June 19, 2017

It’s that time of year again: the time when music fans and critics alike come together to argue about what should and shouldn’t be nominated for the Polaris Music Prize, all while also celebrating the rich and diverse group of records that make up the prize’s long list and give a glimpse of what Canada’s music scene has to offer. The long list is just that—long—so there’s a lot to go through before the short list is revealed on July 13. But that should provide ample time for you to get familiar with what’s been nominated so far.

It’s the 12th year of the prize, which now awards a whopping $50,000 to the winner. To be eligible for the 2017 Polaris Music Prize, albums had to be released between June 1, 2016 and May 31, 2017. The 40 records that ended up on the long list were chosen by the Polaris jury, comprised of journalists, critics, and industry pros who make their decisions, “without regard to musical genre or commercial popularity.” And it’s not only the big winner that gets all the money—each of the other nine finalists from the short list get $3,000 to take home.

You can mosey over to the Polaris long list page and check out the albums that made it right now. Got any gripes about what should or shouldn’t have made it? The beloved, bizarre, and endlessly entertaining modern folk troubadour B.A. Johnston made his second appearance with Gremlins 3, which is pretty fun to see alongside Drake’s More Life and The Weeknd’s Starboy. Leonard Cohen’s final album, You Want It Darker, makes an expected appearance, and Gord Downie shows up twice, with his own Secret Path and The Tragically Hip’s Man Machine Poem. Personally, there were at least a couple questionable snubs in my mind, but (full disclosure) I’m a juror, so I’ll leave the arguing to to you. Take a listen through the long list and get acquainted with a little of the past year of Canadian music.

In Other News:

Festival Lineups:  Edmonton’s Up + Downtown Music Festival, Halifax Urban Folk Festival, Montreal’s Leonard Cohen exhibition, Dawson City Music Festival

About the Author

Matt Williams

Matt Williams is a writer and photographer. Born and raised on the Prairies in Winnipeg, he’s slowly made his way farther and farther east, spending a few years covering music in Toronto before running clear out of country and ending up on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. In between, he’s made numerous detours, interviewing and photographing countless artists across North America and beyond. He heads up Amplify’s Instrumental series, where he talks with musicians about the relationships they’ve formed with their most important tools.

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