Jim Cuddy didn’t make the cut, but Calgary’s doom-noise duo Mares of Thrace did. Grammy-winning R&B singer Melanie Fiona isn’t a finalist, but Vancouver singer-songwriter Dan Mangan is the man.
The 40 long-listed albums for the 2012 Polaris Prize were announced at Vancouver’s Waldorf Hotel, where confetti flew for some artists, while others received the sad trombone.
The long list is traditionally an eclectic roster of recordings, with the esoteric tastes of the most whimsical of the 200-plus jurors clashing with the notions of the voters with more moderate preferences. Chart-placing mainstream albums and major-label LPs are rarely represented, and this year is no exception: Top-selling releases by Justin Bieber, Michael Bublé and Nickelback are no longer contenders for the prize, which is handed out annually in recognition of the album judged to be the year’s very best.
To no one’s surprise, Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas, Drake’s Take Care, Kathleen Edward’s Voyageur, Patrick Watson’s Adventures in Your Own Backyard and Feist’s Metals made the list.
Somewhat surprising omissions include records by Cowboy Junkies, Plants and Animals, Pack A.D., Radio Radio, Elliott Brood, Deep Dark Woods and Junior Boys. The biggest eyebrow-raiser of the day was the news that that Skyscraper Soul, the stylish solo effort by Blue Rodeo’s Cuddy, didn’t make the cut.
The Polaris voters will now decide on the short list of 10 albums, to be announced July 17. The final winner will be revealed on Sept. 24.
THE LONG LIST
A Tribe Called Red: A Tribe Called Red
Marie-Pierre Arthur: Aux alentours
Rich Aucoin: We’re All Dying To Live
Avec pas d’casque: Astronomie
Azari & III: Azari & III
The Barr Brothers: The Barr Brothers
Blackie And The Rodeo Kings: Kings And Queens
Cadence Weapon: Hope In Dirt City
Kathryn Calder: Bright And Vivid
Cannon Bros: Firecracker / Cloudglow
Coeur de pirate: Blonde
Leonard Cohen: Old Ideas
Cold Specks: I Predict A Graceful Expulsion
Rose Cousins: We Have Made A Spark
Mark Davis: Eliminate The Toxins
Drake: Take Care
Kathleen Edwards: Voyageur
Fucked Up: David Comes To Life
Great Lake Swimmers: New Wild
Handsome Furs: Sound Kapital
Japandroids: Celebration Rock
Dan Mangan: Oh Fortune
Mares Of Thrace: The Pilgrimage
Ariane Moffatt: MA
Lindi Ortega: Little Red Boots
Parlovr: Kook Soul
Sandro Perri: Impossible Spaces
Joel Plaskett Emergency: Scrappy Happiness
PS I Love You: Death Dreams
John K. Samson: Provincial
Shooting Guns: Born To Deal In Magic: 1952-1976
The Slakadeliqs: The Other Side of Tomorrow
Patrick Watson: Adventures In Your Own Backyard
Bry Webb: Provider
The Weeknd: Echoes of Silence
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan: YT//ST
Yukon Blonde: Tiger Talk