Here it is, the complete 2012 Polaris Music Prize short list. Keep watching CBC Music for Polaris-related features, videos, interviews and more.
You can view a photo slideshow of the winners above. Thanks to CBC Music's Dave Shumka for providing the captions.
If you're new to Polaris, the award recognizes and promotes albums based on artistic integrity, without regard to genre, professional affiliation, or sales figures. The Polaris Music Prize jury is comprised of music journalists, broadcasters and bloggers.
Hope in Dirt City by Cadence Weapon
listenFew hip-hop artists are ahead of the curve like Montreal-via-Edmonton’s Cadence Weapon, who seems to know what stylistic trends are coming before the rest of us even have a chance to catch up. Confessional and ambitious, his latest album is a dark yet uplifting tour through club culture, with musical nods to Grace Jones and Talking Heads, and undeniable raps.
I Predict A Graceful Expulsion by Cold Specks
listenPeople have been pushing "the next Adele" button a little maniacally for some of us, but yes, Ajax, Ontario’s young Cold Specks has a giant voice that reveals a sharp mind and vibrant heart. Musically, she’s into more off-kilter sounds than you might hear from a soulful, almost gospel songstress, but that makes her all the more fascinating.
Take Care by Drake
The current king of hip-hop has brought emo to the rap game, somehow blending whining about being successful, boasting about being successful and whining about boasting about being successful into one of the most distinctive and popular sounds of the century. Alienated kids relate to Drake’s open, moody psyche, but they also respect his touch as a rapper with an ear for dope beats.
Voyageur by Kathleen Edwards
listenA classically trained daughter of a world-travelling diplomat, Kathleen Edwards's lyrically playful and sonically complicated songs make her one of the most distinct singer-songwriters in Canada.
Reaction: “My theory with the Polaris is, you pick the person you least expect is gonna win in your own mind, and then you’re still wrong... I’ve got someone working on the actual scientific equation.” -Kathleen Edwards
Metals by Feist
listenIt seems that Leslie Feist's grandeur as an artist continues to grow with each new record. Her second album, Let it Die, and work with Broken Social Scene brought her international attention. Her next record, The Reminder, brought her substantial commercial success (and a guest spot on Sesame Street). In 2011, she came back with what might be her most interesting album yet, Metals, and walked home with a trio of Junos this year for her troubles.
David Comes to Life by F--ked Up
listenHardcore punk band F--ked Up is perhaps best known for frontman Damian Abraham's bloody performances in his underwear, but the band, which has been together since 2001, has received considerable critical acclaim over the past decade. They took home the 2009 Polaris Music Prize for their album The Chemistry of Common Life.
Reaction: “History has been fairly unkind to the second-time nominees, so I think this one’s gonna be the one where I actually get to sit back and enjoy it a little more, maybe meet Drake.” -Damian Abraham of F--ked Up
Visions by Grimes
listenGrimes is the project of Claire Boucher, the Vancouver-born, Montreal-based musician whose electronic-tinged brand of pop has taken the world by storm over the course of the past year with three albums released since 2010. Known for her falsetto voice and penchant for making music on GarageBand, Grimes is hard to pin to a specific genre.
Sound Kapital by Handsome Furs
listenAfter seven years and three successful albums, this Montreal alt-rock duo featuring Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade) and Alexei Perry called it quits last month. Their nominated album, Sound Kapital, was written exclusively on keyboards and was influenced by their tour across Asia while producing a web travelogue series for CNN's Indie Asia.
Celebration Rock by Japandroids
listenThis is the second Polaris Prize nomination for this rock duo from Vancouver, who rose to fame in 2009 with their album Post-Nothing. Celebration Rock is a fitting title for this shortlisted album, a perfect listen for kicking off a weekend.
YT//ST by Yamantaka // Sonic Titan
listenBorn from the ashes of Lesbian Fight Club, Toronto's Yamantaka // Sonic Titan was formed in late 2007 by performance artists Alaska B and Ruby Kato. They describe their sound as "Asian diasporic psychedelic noh-wave opera group fusing noise, metal, pop and folk music into a multidisciplinary hyper-orientalist cesspool of 'eastern' culture."
Reaction: “I think [this nomination] will mix our fans up, I guess. I mean our shows have been a mix of kind of like hipster art school types and there are always a few giant metal dudes there giving the nod, so that’s pretty exciting for us.” - Ruby Kato Attwood of Yamantaka // Sonic Titan
What do you think of this year's short list? Who's missing? Let us know in the comments.
Photo gallery: Polaris short list announcement at The Drake
Listen: The CBC Radio 3 Polaris short list podcast
Polaris 2012 short list: snubs and surprises
2012 Polaris Music Prize long list
[Video] Arcade Fire wins 2011 Polaris Music Prize
Polaris Music Prize 2012 important dates
on Jul 17, 2012