Past Winners & Nominees
The 2012 Polaris Music Prize Winner - Feist

Artist: Feist
Album: Metals
Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

Produced by Feist, Chilly Gonzales and Mocky.

Feist couldn't have found a better place to record her album Metals than Big Sur, where the beautiful scenery of Coastal California carries amazement as well as contemplation. That's exactly the feeling gathered by the songs found on Metals, an album full of nuances which confirms that Feist will never confine in ease.

Four years after the success of The Reminder, Feist had indeed two choices: to surf on a wave called 1234 or to start over again. The Nova Scotia native took a risk… and it paid off.

Metals is spellbinding from the very first listen. “Graveyard”, and its superb choir at the end, along with first single “How Come You Never Go There”, carried by Feist's delicate vocals, catch on straight away. But the richness of this precious Metals surfaces after several listens, as if Feist was encouraging us to stop everything for a moment and be lulled into. And this is how we fall in love for the melancholic “Anti-Pioneer” or the military-like chorus of “A Commotion”.

But what is most surprising about Metals is this constant impression that its creator is offering us some sort of intimate concert (“Get It Wrong, Get It Right”, “Cicadas & Gulls”), that there's only her and the listener, alone, in a musical symbiosis.

- Cédric Bélanger, Le Journal De Québec

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The 2011 Polaris Music Prize Winner - Arcade Fire

Artist: Arcade Fire
Album: The Suburbs
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For Arcade Fire, overreaching has always seemed less a critical flaw than a mission statement. From the audacious anthems of "Funeral" to the shimmering, simmering "Neon Bible," everything seemed to be spiralling skyward: the band's lofty ambition, its ever-earnest emotionalism and its grandiose sonic swoon. And then "The Suburbs" came out, and Arcade Fire proved that a bit of restraint couldn't dull their visceral wallop. Here, Win Butler's quivering warble turns resolute, while the almighty catharses of "Funeral" are sacrificed for a roiling slow burn that, make no mistake, maintains the old fire.

Meanwhile, Butler explores familiar lyrical themes — community, alienation, childhood — through the prism of suburbia, with a voice that’s as empathetic as emphatic. So, an album that delves into the uneasy transition into adulthood actually proves the elegance of Arcade Fire’s own maturation. At last, it seems there's nothing that lies outside this band's considerable grasp.

Nick Patch, Canadian Press

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The 2010 Polaris Music Prize Winner - Karkwa

Artist: Karkwa
Album: Les Chemins De Verre
From: Montréal, QC
Links: Website | MySpace | Facebook

Everything I cherish in music I’ve found in Karkwa’s Les Chemins De Verre. Killer melodies, intelligent lyrics, and the impression of a group in total communion. This is especially apparent during the hymn Marie Tu Pleures, recorded in one take in a old French manor house. Singer Lous-Jean Cormier usually pushes his gritty voice into the low octaves, but here he dares incursions into the higher range to great emotional effect. Think about Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, The Beach Boys; even good old Quebec prog music from Harmonium. Karkwa have let some air in. Karkwa are more and more Karkwa.

Philippe Papineau, Le Devoir, Montréal

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The 2009 Polaris Music Prize Winner - Fucked Up

Artist: Fucked Up
Album: The Chemistry Of Common Life
From: Toronto
Links: Website | MySpace

So people say Canadian songwriting is ironic and distanced? Fucked Up has as direct a line to pissed-offness as any Brit or U.S. punk. Yet they rewrite the laws of fast-hard-loud with eight-minute songs, melodious backup vocals, even flutes. The Chemistry of Common Life confirms Canadians can wear their brains on their sleeves even without a shirt - the sound of a year when everything depended on getting mad without getting stupid.

Carl Wilson, Globe And Mail, Toronto

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The 2008 Polaris Music Prize Winner - Caribou

Artist: Caribou
Album: Andorra
Label: Merge Records
From: Dundas, ON
Links: Website | MySpace

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The 2007 Polaris Music Prize Winner - Patrick Watson

Artist: Patrick Watson
Album: Close To Paradise
Label: Secret City Records | Fusion III
Links: Website | MySpace

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The 2006 Polaris Music Prize Winner - Final Fantasy

Artist: Final Fantasy
Album: He Poos Clouds
Label: Blocks Recording Club | Outside Music
Links: MySpace

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