Slowcoustic thinks about the Polaris Prize, makes a playlist.

Polaris Prize Banner

Voting is starting soon for the Polaris Music Prize and I have to start actually thinking about the “best” in Canadian Music this past year.  Yours truly is one of the jurors for said prize (and who agreed to having me on board is a whole other issue) and I have some ideas on who I am going to vote for and the voting in general.  Anybody who is unfamiliar with the Polaris Music Prize, it is comparable to the Mercury Prize (UK), Choice Music Prize (Ireland), Australian Music Prize (ummm, Australia) but just the Canadian version of it.

Essentially I was reading the Herohill posts on their long list/short list/list of albums they are thinking of voting for, so I thought I would copy them and do the same.   I think I have a good selection this year, so overall I am not that worried about finding a ‘worthy’ album to vote for at all.  Lots of fantastic albums from some Canucks this year which is no real surprise for me, so that is great.  I do always worry about the idea of “best album” when probably at least half of the music I don’t like right off the bat.  Is that bad to say?

Obviously I like folky and acoustic for the most part – I can appreciate a good album that is not at all related to “folk” music, but do I actually like it and then am I able to vote for it?  This is endless debate in the Polaris forums (as it would be for almost any forum I guess) and for the most part people are just trying to rep an artist that they deem worthy and it is always a subjective thing anyway.  I do however think that without the ‘arguments’ in those forums, there would be missed albums, so good does come out of poor for(u)m, I guess.  Sometimes I do think I find myself a vegetarian being asked to judge a “best steak” contest…but that could just be me!  I am happy to vote and vote I shall.

Who are some of the contenders for me, you ask?  To start, let’s get the criteria for who I can consider…Well the album must be from a Canadian artist (50% + of a band, Canadian citizen, born here, etc) and have an album that is a minimum of 30 minutes (or 8 tracks) released between June 1, 2011 and May 31st, 2012.  So then…who am I considering in alphabetical order?

  1. Bry Webb – “Provider”
  2. Cold Specks – “I Predict A Graceful Expulsion”
  3. The Deep Dark Woods – “The Place I Left Behind”
  4. Del Barber – “Headwaters”
  5. Feist – “Metals”
  6. John K. Samson – “Provincial”
  7. Kathleen Edwards – “Voyageur”
  8. Ox – “Tuco”
  9. Samantha Savage Smith – “Tough Cookie”
  10. Siskiyou – “Keep Away The Dead”
  11. The Barr Brothers – “The Barr Brothers”
  12. The Wooden Sky – “Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun”
  13. Weather Station – “All Of It Was Mine”

Sure there are more, but these are some that I have fully listened to and can actually consider.  I will need to listen to some more before I vote, but the above will be considered no matter what.  I have my eye on a couple that are for sure making it through the long and short list for me as long as they make it through the process of voting…I think you might have an idea of who I am thinking of…anyone want to hazard a guess in the comments?

No Ox on Rdio, so below is a Bandcamp Stream for a track.