If you’re at all familiar with us, you probably already know that we’re based in Canada. If you didn’t know that, it’s likely at least obvious that we love Canadian music. Every month we feature some of the best emerging and exciting stuff this country always has on offer. And as we nosedive into September, we get wrapped up in the anticipation and arguing that inevitably surrounds the biggest annual music event in the country—the Polaris Music Prize.
The Prize, if you’re not familiar, is modeled after the UK’s Mercury Prize, and it aims to name the best Canadian album of the year based solely on artistic merit. Genre, sales, affiliation—none of that matters when the selected jury of Canadian music media vote. Or at least, it’s not supposed to. One of the biggest examples of just how muddy the subjectivity can get is Drake. He’s one of the world’s biggest pop stars, with Billboard hits and arena tours and his millions of dollars—yet Nothing Was the Same made the shortlist; he’s one of this Prize’s biggest underdogs. Many argue he just doesn’t need the recognition or $30,000 prize. It’s his second nomination (he lost in 2012 to Feist’s Metals), and in having jurors argue both for and against his win in this issue, we hope his inclusion keeps pushing Prize participants to check their tastes, biases, worships, etc.
Drizzy isn’t the only look at this year’s Polaris Prize—we’ve got odds, infographics, performance videos, and a look at a handful of albums that are so-far eligible—and we think mayyyybe pretty likely—for the 2015 prize. Get Canadian!
Even we need a break from all the Canadiana, though; you can also read a feature on strange and sultry breakout UK star FKA Twigs in this issue.