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Montreal musicians dominate Polaris shortlist




Jul 11, 2007 07:44 PM




Ben Rayner

Pop Music Critic


The votes are in and, apparently, Toronto is no longer quite the centre of the Canadian musical universe.:rolleyes:


Only expat-Torontonian Leslie Feist - who actually hails originally from Calgary - muscled her way onto the shortlist for the second annual Polaris Music Prize, unveiled yesterday afternoon during a reception on the Drake Hotel's rooftop patio attended by such homegrown rockers as Joel Plaskett and Olga Goreas of the Besnard Lakes.


The tres au courant indie scene in Montreal, represented by five acts including rising stars Arcade Fire and Patrick Watson, dominated the final voting. More than 170 music writers and broadcasters from across the country who were polled last month on their favourite Canadian albums released between June 1, 2006 and May 31, 2007. The rest came from points as varied as Hamilton, Halifax, Calgary and Sackville, N.B.


"It was an arduous process," said Polaris founder Steve Jordan. "We saw some records move up and down in the balloting as time went on, and I think people really gave serious consideration to their choices. It's going to be a real challenge to pick a winner ... All of these records are 'epics' in some way."

The Polaris shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:


Arcade Fire, Neon Bible.

The Besnard Lakes, Are the Dark Horse.

The Dears, Gang of Losers.

Julie Doiron, Woke Myself Up.

Feist, The Reminder.

Junior Boys, So This is Goodbye.

Miracle Fortress, Five Roses.

Joel Plaskett Emergency, Ashtray Rock.

Chad VanGaalen, Skelliconnection.

Patrick Watson, Close to Paradise.


The winner will be determined after a day of hard-fought argument between a small group of final jurors on Sept. 24 and announced that same night during a gala concert. The prize - taken last year by Toronto's Final Fantasy for his album He Poos Clouds - is $20,000 cash.


A Polaris compilation album featuring tracks by each of the nominees will also be released on Aug. 28.

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