It looks as if Canada’s Polaris Music Prize is beginning to find its sealegs, so to speak. During its first three years, the award was generally perceived as a lamp to shine on deserving, if unknown, musicians (Final Fantasy’s He Poos Clouds in 2006, Patrick Watson’s Close To Paradise in 2007 and Caribou’s Andorra in 2008).
The award was less about deserving craft — though all three past winners were certainly deserving — and more about a launch pad for the next great Canadian band. Not so this year.
“If there’s a common thread to these records, it’s that each artist built on previous successes by pushing themselves into even riskier artistic dimensions. Listeners will find the jury picked quite an ambitious crop this year. This is exactly the kind of artistry that Polaris aims to support,” said Steve Jordan, founder and Executive Director of the Polaris Prize.
The 10 nominees this year include several repeat nominees and no debut albums. Among them are: Patrick Watson’s Wooden Arms, Metric’s Fantasies, Malajube’s Labyrinthes, Chad VanGaalen’s Soft Airplane, Fucked Up’s The Chemistry Of Common Life, and Great Lake Swimmers’s Lost Channels.
I’m pulling for Patrick Watson this year, as I was in 2007. Just another insanely fantastic and beautiful record.