The shortlist for this year’s Polaris Prize has been confirmed featuring some surprise additions.
The Canadian music scene is moving from strength to strength. Opening the Millennium with debuts from Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene and more the Noughties closed with the emergence of Austra, The Weeknd and more.
The Polaris is the country’s equivalent of the Mercury and acts as a barometer for the music scene. Announcing the long list earlier this year, it was clear from the off that 2011 was going to be a vintage year.
Now the shortlist has been unveiled. Featuring some big names (step forward Arcade Fire) as well as obscure newcomers it is an intriguing cross section of Canadian music.
Without further ago here are the final names on the list…
Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
Austra – Feel it Break
Braids – Native Speaker
Destroyer – Kaputt
Galaxie – Tigre et diésel
Hey Rosetta! – Seeds
Ron Sexsmith – Long Player Late Bloomer
Colin Stetson – New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges
Timber Timbre – Creep On Creepin’ On
The Weeknd – House of Balloons
Compiling some fun facts, organisers have points out that a total of three records – by Austra, Braids and The Weeknd – are debut albums. Eight artists have never appeared on the list before, while Arcade Fire have been installed as frontrunners after their success at the Grammy awards.
However the Polaris has a habit of creating some shock winners, and an outsider could well walk away with the prize.
The Polaris winner will be announced on September 19th.