by Michael and Laura
The long list for the 6th annual Polaris Prize is exactly one week from now. Excitement is no doubt building, especially since the winner is now receiving $30,000 and each other shortlisted winner will receive $2000.
More than 200 jurors are going to be making five picks on their ballots, so a few of us here are going to do the same.
1. Deadhorse- Deadhorse
This one is probably a bit of a longshot, but I’m sticking by it. This album really blew me away just based on how bold it is. The band plays hazy blues-rock that’s got more edge than most other bands I’ve heard.
2. Chad VanGaalen- Diaper Island
Canada’s resident god of indie rock has already been shortlisted twice for this prize, and both of those sh0rtlisted albums were great. Diaper Island is probably his most soul-baring album to date and shows a really great focus. This may be his year.
3. Winter Gloves- All Red
I think it’s safe to say that this band has finally made its mark on the indie scene. Their sophomore album was no disappointment and they followed it up with a great EP. They make really catchy electro-pop and know how to put on a live show. As well, All Red had a very strong theme about growing up. It’s a pretty solid pick.
4. Diamond Rings- Special Affections
Not many acts have raised as much buzz as John O’Regan of the D’Urbervilles. By the time Special Affections came out in October of last year O’Regan had honed his craft so well that he created one of the catchiest pop albums I’ve heard in a very long time.
5. Timber Timbre- Creep On Creepin’ On
Arguably one of the most atmospheric records on the scene right now, this album represents a feeling of dread one might experience while being followed by a dark creature. This album amps up all that was great about the previous self-titled album and just turns out into an enchanting, if spooky, listen.
1. Arcade Fire- The Suburbs
After international acclaim and winning Album Of The Year at the Grammy’s to boot, Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs is a huge contender to win this year’s prize. Thanks to beautiful instrumental arrangements and some of Win Butler’s strongest songs, The Suburbs might be the strongest Arcade Fire to date.
2. Forest City Lovers- Carriage
Catchy folk-pop songs, witty lyrics, and the warm voice of lead singer Kat Burns, what’s not to like? Since its release, Carriage has never failed to put a smile on my face and will do the same for you.
3. Frederick Squire- March 12
Frederick Squire’s March 12 is one of the most unacknowledged records from the past year. The solid vocals of Squire mixed with intelligent songwriting, March 12 is full timeless sounding folk-ballads.
4. Hey Rosetta!- Seeds
No stranger to Polaris buzz, their album Into Your Lungs was shortlisted in 2008, Hey Rosetta! might have a winner with Seeds. With every song filled with intensity, vivid descriptions, and multi-instrumentation, Seeds blows me away with every listen.
5. Snailhouse- Sentimental Gentleman
Snailhouse aka Mike Feuerstack, shows us simplicity at its greatest in Sentimental Gentleman. At just under thirty-five minutes, Feuerstack gives us wit, sorrow, beauty and a strong case to make it on this year’s list.