Friday, May 22, 2015

Polaris pondering, prior to the 2015 long list

Siskiyou - Nervous
It's almost time to submit my five-album ballot for the 2015 Polaris Music Prize. It's always hard to whittle diverse genres of music down to five albums that I'd place over all others: usually there are two or maybe three albums I think are near-perfect: encapsulations of an artist's (assumed) intent, reflecting the zeitgeist and/or something I keep coming back to again and again and hearing new delights. Then there's a bunch of very good albums that fill out the rest of my ballot. 

These are by no means all the good Canadian records released between June 1, 2014 and May 30, 2015, but these are the ones that I found completely captivating, and the ones I'm considering for my ballot. Of course, I'd love it if these 20 records composed half the long list, but my track record suggests that's not going to happen. 

And of course there are records I haven't heard: procrastinating Polaris jurors suggested no fewer than 20 albums in the last week. Frankly, I'm not going to listen to any of them I hadn't heard already—or at least not for Polaris purposes. With three exceptions (all May releases), I've been sitting with the records below for many months now. No matter what shakes down between now and the Sept. 21 gala, you should get to know them, too.

Here's my dance card, in alphabetical order:

Afiara Quartet + Skratch Bastid – Spin City (Centrediscs)
Lydia Ainsworth – Right From Real (Arbutus)
Bahamas – Is Afie (Brushfire)
Boogat – Neo-Reconquista (Maisonnette)
Jennifer Castle – Pink City (Idée Fixe)
Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems (Sony)
Ian William Craig – A Turn of Breath (Recital)
Amelia Curran – They Promised You Mercy (Six Shooter)
Keita Juma – Chaos Theory (independent)
Pierre Kwenders – Le dernier empereur bantou (Bonsound)
Daniel Lanois – Flesh and Machine (Anti)
Lee Harvey Osmond – Beautiful Scars (Latent)
Jean Leloup – A Paradis City (Grosse Boite)
Terra Lightfoot – Every Time My Mind Runs Wild (Sonic Unyon)
Native North America – Various Artists (Light in the Attic)
Sagot – Valse 333 (Simone)
Buffy Sainte-Marie – Power in the Blood (True North)
Siskiyou – Nervous (Constellation)
Tre Mission – Stigmata (Big Dada)
Whitehorse – Leave No Bridge Unburned (Six Shooter)

1 comment:

Leo W. said...

I need to spend more time with a few of those.

Wondering how you feel about Jess Reimer's "The Nightjar & the Garden"? It would probably top my list of records released during the eligibility period.