The 2015 Polaris Music Prize Long List has been announced.
The 40 Long List albums were unveiled earlier today at The Carleton in Halifax, NS in association with Halifax Pop Explosion, with the assistance of the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage, the City of Halifax, and the Downtown Halifax Business Commission.
The 2015 Polaris Music Prize Long List:
Absolutely Free – Absolutely Free
The Acorn – Vieux Loup
Lydia Ainsworth – Right from Real
Alvvays – Alvvays
Arkells – High Noon
Rich Aucoin – Ephemeral
BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah – Sour Soul
Bahamas – Bahamas Is Afie
The Barr Brothers – Sleeping Operator
Braids – Deep In The Iris
Steph Cameron – Sad-Eyed Lonesome Lady
Caribou – Our Love
Jazz Cartier – Marauding In Paradise
Jennifer Castle – Pink City
Cold Specks – Neuroplasticity
Louis-Jean Cormier – Les grandes artères
Death From Above 1979 – The Physical World
Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
Frazey Ford – Indian Ocean
Tobias Jesso Jr. – Goon
BA Johnston – Shit Sucks
Pierre Kwenders – Le dernier empereur Bantou
Lee Harvey Osmond – Beautiful Scars
Jean Leloup – À Paradis City
METZ – II
Milk & Bone – Little Mourning
Tre Mission – Stigmata
The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers
Joel Plaskett – The Park Avenue Sobriety Test
Buffy Sainte-Marie – Power in The Blood
Elizabeth Shepherd – The Signal
Siskiyou – Nervous
Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld – Never were the way she was
Various Artists – Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, And Country 1966–1985
Viet Cong – Viet Cong
Patrick Watson – Love Songs For Robots
The Weather Station – Loyalty
White Lung – Deep Fantasy
Whitehorse – Leave No Bridge Unburned
Young Guv – Ripe 4 Luv
In total 197 titles made the first ballots of the 196 member jury.
This year’s Long List features 18 returning and 22 new nominees, although four of those new Polaris people have been nominated for previous projects: Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld for his solo albums and her work with Arcade Fire respectively, Young Guv’s Ben Cook was previously nominated with Fucked Up, members of Viet Cong were previously nominated as Women, and Siskiyou used to play with Great Lake Swimmers.
A number of previous Polaris champions are also represented among the nominees, including Caribou, Patrick Watson, Louis-Jean Cormier (Karkwa), Young Guv (Fucked Up) and Sarah Neufeld (Arcade Fire).
Three separate acts have now been nominated for the Polaris Prize on four separate occasions: Patrick Watson (2007, 2009, 2012, 2015), Joel Plaskett (2007, 2009, 2012, 2015) and The New Pornographers (2006, 2008, 2010, 2015).
Additionally, Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, And Country 1966–1985’s inclusion marks the first time a curated collection of various artists has made the Long List.
The event was hosted by Polaris Founder and Executive Director Steve Jordan and featured Halifax mayor Mike Savage and previous nominees Elizabeth Shepherd, Old Man Luedecke and Whitehorse’s Luke Doucet as presenters. Surprise musical guest Joel Plaskett was also on hand to perform songs from his 2015 Long-Listed album The Park Avenue Sobriety Test. The event was webcast live by BRBR TFO.
The scrutinizing of the Long List will get started right away as the good folks at ACTRA RACS will host a Polaris Panel in Toronto on June 19 MC’d by Jordan and featuring Polaris jurors Sam Sutherland (AUX), Slava Pastuk (Noisey Canada), Tabassum Siddiqui (freelance) and Lana Gay (CBC Music). They’ll discuss how the Long List gets selected each year and (maybe) make some bold predictions for 2015.
The 10 album Short List will be announced on July 16 at The Carlu in Toronto. The Polaris Gala will be held on September 21 at The Carlu in Toronto and will be broadcast live via AUX TV.