Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

The Polaris odds: Brad Wheeler handicaps the nominees

3:1 Radio Radio: Belmundo Regal. This could be the year Polaris gets funky. In this race, the colourful Francophones have the pole position.

7:2 Karkwa: Les Chemins de verre. The 11-member jury is stocked with people named Marc, Francois, Andre and Philippe. Does the sublime French-singing Karkwa have a chance? Oui.

5:1 Shad: TSOL. The London rapper is this year's K'naan, the Somali-Canadian flag-waver who came this close to winning the Polaris a year ago.

Story continues below advertisement

6:1 The Besnard Lakes: The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night. The potent 2007 album from the Montreal space-rockers was called The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse. They are dark horses again, but strong contenders for the compromise vote.

6:1 Caribou: Swim. Polaris will find itself comparing Swim not with this year's other nine nominees, but to Caribou's 2008 prize-winning album Andorra.

13:2 Tegan and Sara: Sainthood. The indie-pop album from the identical twins was highly hyped and well received, but that was 11 months ago. Polaris has a short memory.

8:1 The Sadies: Darker Circles. Its cosmic country rock has broad appeal, but the Sadies just aren't sexy or strange enough for Polaris's contrarian tastes.

11:1 Broken Social Scene: Forgiveness Rock Record. The veteran Toronto rock collective is just too popular for the underdog-loving Polaris jurists to forgive.

15:1 Owen Pallett: Heartland. Toronto's Pallett, as Final Fantasy, won the Polaris in 2007. Polaris isn't ready for a repeat-winner; Heartland has little chance.

17:1 Dan Mangan: Nice, Nice, Very Nice. Nice albums, like nice guys, finish last.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this resolved by the end of January 2018. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to