Arcade Fire, Drake, Shad make Polaris Music Prize short list
Drake performs during his "Would You Like A Tour" show in Toronto on Thursday October 24, 2013. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Chris Young)
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, July 15, 2014 11:49AM EDT
TORONTO -- Arcade Fire will have a shot at mirroring their success at the Polaris Music Prize, as the Montreal band's sprawling "Reflektor" again earned them a spot on the $30,000 award's short list Tuesday.
The band's chart-topping, Grammy and Juno Award-winning "The Suburbs" claimed the Polaris back in 2011 -- but the decorated rock outfit will face competition this time around from a slew of Polaris vets, including one winner.
Owen Pallett, who claimed the inaugural prize in 2006 when the Toronto-reared multi-instrumentalist still went by Final Fantasy, is in the running again for his knotty "In Conflict."
Other returnees to the short list include Toronto rap star Drake, whose "Nothing Was the Same" earned his second shortlisting, Vancouver-based hip-hop artist Shad (now a three-time nominee), Montreal experimental collective Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, dark Toronto blues outfit Timber Timbre and Toronto folk multi-instrumentalist Basia Bulat.
Buzzy psychedelic-pop songwriter Mac DeMarco, who grew up in Edmonton before starting his music career in Montreal, made the short list for his acclaimed "Salad Days" a year after being longlisted for his debut, "2."
Only two nominees were true Polaris newcomers.
Hamilton singer/songwriter/producer Jessy Lanza found herself on the short list for the first time for her debut, the ethereal electronic R&B record "Pull My Hair Back."
And Nunavut-raised Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq also made her debut entry on the Polaris short list. Though she's been nominated for two Juno Awards over a career that's stretched over a decade, she earned a new level of mainstream critical regard for her latest album, "Animism."
The winner will be crowned on Sept. 22 at a gala at the Carlu, to be webcast live by Aux.tv.
Montreal actor Jay Baruchel -- star of "This is the End," the "How to Train Your Dragon" franchise and "Knocked Up" -- was announced Tuesday as host of that ceremony.
The Polaris Music Prize is awarded to the artist who created the best Canadian album of the previous year irrespective of genre or sales, as chosen by a large team of journalists, broadcasters and bloggers.
Other past winners include Feist, Patrick Watson and Karkwa.