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40-Album Polaris Music Prize Long List Revealed

The Polaris Music Prize, presented by CBC Music, has revealed its 40-album Long List. This year’s Long List is presented by Canada Council for the Arts.

The Polaris Music Prize awards $50,000 to the artist who creates the Canadian Album of the Year, judged solely on artistic merit, without consideration for genre or record sales. Additionally, the nine other nominated acts whose albums make the 2020 Short List will receive $3,000 each courtesy of Slaight Music.

Albums eligible for 2020 Polaris Music Prize consideration must be released between May 1, 2019 and May 31, 2020. An independent jury of music journalists, broadcasters and bloggers from across Canada determines the Long List and Short List. Eleven people from the larger jury pool are then chosen to serve on the Grand Jury. This Grand Jury will select the Polaris Music Prize winner.

In total, 223 albums were considered for the Long List by the 201-member jury.

The 2020 Polaris Music Prize Long List is:

Allie X - Cape God
Anachnid - Dreamweaver
Aquakultre - Legacy
Marie-Pierre Arthur - Des feux pour voir
Backxwash - God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It
Badge Époque Ensemble - Badge Époque Ensemble
Begonia - Fear
P'tit Belliveau - Greatest Hits Vol. 1
Caribou - Suddenly
Daniel Caesar - CASE STUDY 01
Chocolat - Jazz engagé
Louis-Jean Cormier - Quand la nuit tombe
Corridor - Junior
dvsn - A Muse In Her Feelings
Jacques Greene - Dawn Chorus
Sarah Harmer - Are You Gone
Ice Cream - FED UP
Junia-T - Studio Monk
Kaytranada - Bubba
Flore Laurentienne - Volume 1
Cindy Lee - What's Tonight To Eternity?
Men I Trust - Oncle Jazz
nêhiyawak - nipiy
OBUXUM - Re-Birth
Owen Pallett - Island
Pantayo - Pantayo
Lido Pimienta - Miss Colombia
Joel Plaskett - 44
William Prince - Reliever
Jessie Reyez - BEFORE LOVE CAME TO KILL US
Riit - ataataga
Andy Shauf - The Neon Skyline
Super Duty Tough Work - Studies in Grey
U.S. Girls - Heavy Light
Leif Vollebekk - New Ways
Wares - Survival
The Weeknd - After Hours
WHOOP-Szo - Warrior Down
Witch Prophet - DNA Activation
Zen Bamboo - GLU

“This period of reflection is leading to the creation of strong new work by strong new voices in music. The Canada Council for the Arts is proud to associate itself with the Polaris Prize through the Council’s presentation of the Long List,” said Carolyn Warren, Director General, Arts Granting Programs Division / Directrice générale, Division des programmes de subventions aux arts.

This year’s Long List was unveiled in a video broadcast via the Polaris Facebook page and YouTube channels. An cast of past Polaris nominees were enlisted to present each Long List album. These presenters included a l l i e, Tim Baker, Art Bergmann, Jean-Michel Blais, Bonjay’s Alanna Stuart, Braids’ Raphaelle Standell-Preston, Cadence Weapon, Charlotte Cornfield, Le Couleur’s Laurence Giroux-Do, D-Sisive, Dilly Dally’s Katie Monks, Elephant Stone’s Rishi Dhir, Kathleen Edwards, Elisapie, Eternia, Faith Healer’s Jessica Jalbert, Great Lake Swimmers’ Tony Dekker, Hannah Georgas, Haviah Mighty, Zaki Ibrahim, iskwē, B.A. Johnston, KEN mode’s Jesse and Shane Matthewson, Kimmortal, LAL, Lisa Leblanc, Greg MacPherson, Kalle Mattson, Milk & Bone, Safia Nolin, Partner, Klô Pelgag, PUP, Radio Radio’s Gabriel L.B. Malenfant, Shad, Snotty Nose Rez Kids’ Darren Metz, White Lung’s Mish Barber-Way, Wintersleep’s Paul Murphy, Hawskley Workman and YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN’s Alaska B.

Additionally, new 2020 nominee, Anachnid, performed two songs from their Dreamweaver album as part of the reveal event.

The 10 album Short List will be unveiled live on July 15 on a CBC Music radio special. The 2020 Polaris Music Prize-winning album will be revealed live on the CBC Gem streaming service and CBCMusic.ca/Polaris during a special cinematic event, scheduled to take place this fall. More details on this will be announced in the coming weeks.

The past winners are Haviah Mighty (2019), Jeremy Dutcher (2018), Lido Pimienta (2017), Kaytranada (2016), Buffy Sainte-Marie (2015), Tanya Tagaq (2014), Godspeed You! Black Emperor (2013), Feist (2012), Arcade Fire (2011), Karkwa (2010), Fucked Up (2009), Caribou (2008), Patrick Watson (2007) and Final Fantasy / Owen Pallett (2006).

[Photo: Haviah Mighty accepts the 2019 Polaris Prize. Photo by Dustin Rabin]

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Michael Raine is the Senior Editor at Canadian Musician. He is also a co-host of the popular Canadian Musician Radio weekly podcast.
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