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Louise Burns

"I want the aching of a melody," sings the dusky-voiced Alejandra Ribera on her song I Want. The Montreal-based chanteuse is not alone in her desire for a longing phrase or an affecting tune, as the sweeping ballad I Want has been chosen as one of the five nominated compositions for the ninth annual SOCAN Songwriting Prize, handed out by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada.

Other songs on the SOCAN short list announced today include Emeralds Shatter (a dusky new-wave number written and performed by Vancouver's Louise Burns), Gold (a brooding folk-rocker written by Colyn Cameron and performed by Vancouver's Wake Owl), Having You Around (written and performed by Toronto's sweet-and-sour indie-rock duetists July Talk) and Reservoir (written and performed by the Toronto speed-punk specialists PUP).

Fans can vote once a day from June 3 to July 3 at, where each of the five songs are streaming. The winner will be announced during the week of July 7.

The nominees for the 2014 Prix de la chanson SOCAN, the Francophone counterpart to the SOCAN Songwriting Prize, were previously announced. The contenders are Andromède (by Louis-Philippe Gingras), La fièvre des fleurs (by Klô Pelgag), Mécaniques générales (by Patrice Michaud), Nos corps (written by Jimmy Hunt, Emmanuel Éthier, and Christophe Lamarche Ledoux; performed by Jimmy Hunt) and Soleil blanc (by Philémon Cimon).

Last year's winning compositions were Mo Kenney's Sucker and Keith Kouna's Batiscan. The Nova Scotia songstress and the Quebec singer-songwriter each won a $5,000 cash prize, a Gibson Les Paul guitar and a $3,000 gift certificate from Roland.