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Polaris People For July 12: One Last Look At The 2013 Long List

· by Aaron Brophy

Although the 40 albums that make up this year’s Long List will live on forever in our hearts, in order to fulfill our greater purpose on July 16 we will be saying goodbye to 30 of these records when we unveil the 2013 Polaris Music Prize Short List.

It will be a bittersweet parting, but rather than let the whole scenario bum us out, let us look back fondly at some of the big and little things that made each album on the Long List something worth paying attention to.

A Tribe Called Red – Nation II Nation… ACTR prompted The Globe And Mail to use the term “sick beat.” That’s gotta be worth something.

Alaclair Ensemble – Les maigres blancs d’Amérique du Noir… their franco funk rap inspires extreme eating.

ANCIIENTS – Heart Of Oak… Of course they were inspired by Fleet Foxes.

The Besnard Lakes – Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO… Members of Moonface and The Barr Brothers contributed to this album.

Louis-Jean Cormier – Le Treizième Étage… Reminder: Cormier’s other project Karkwa won the Polaris in 2010.

Daphni – JIAOLONG… Sometimes you just need to kick off your record release with an eight hour set.

Mac DeMarco – 2… Halifax donairs are no different than donairs anywhere else in the country.

Evening Hymns – Spectral Dusk… Members of The Wooden Sky, Timber Timbre and City And Colour play on this album.

Hannah Georgas – Hannah Georgas… Past Polaris nominee Graham Walsh of Holy Fuck worked with Georgas on this album.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!… “You either make music that pleases the king and his court, or you make music for the serfs outside the walls.”

Chilly Gonzales – Solo Piano II… It’s quite possible Chilly created a new concept in “Pianovision.”

Jim Guthrie – Takes Time… One of the reasons it “took time” for Guthrie to get this album out was because he was busy playing Sword and Sworcery.

Hayden – Us Alone… Remember when floor sitting was a thing at shows? It was mostly Hayden’s fault.

Zaki Ibrahim – Every Opposite… This Is Africa says this is “award deserving.

KEN mode – Entrench… A daeodon (one of the songs on the album), was a giant pre-historic warthog.

Kid Koala – 12 bit Blues… Gearhead moment: This album was made using an E-mu SP-1200 vintage sampler.

Kobo Town – Jumbie In The Jukebox… Herohill has declared this one a favourite for the year already.

Pierre Lapointe – Punkt… This was the #1 album in Canada in March. Respect.

Lee Harvey Osmond – The Folk Sinner… Margo Timmins, Hawksley Workman, Colin Linden, Oh Suzanna, Andy Maize, Paul Reddick and members of Cowboy Junkies, The Sadies, Skydiggers and Blackie And The Rodeo Kings guested on this album.

Les soeurs Boulay – Le poids des confettis… Philippe B, who has also worked with Pierre Lapointe, produced the album.

Corb Lund – Cabin Fever… In the song “Cows Around” Lund lists more than 20 breeds of cattle.

The Luyas – Animator… Fellow 2013 nominee Jace Lasek of The Besnard Lakes mixed this album.

Majical Cloudz – Impersonator… Band member Devon Welsh is the song of Kenneth Welsh, best known for playing Twin Peaks character Windom Earle.

Metric – Synthetica… This album hit #1 on the U.S. Alternative chart.

METZ – METZ… Here are some words from the Pitchfork review: “psych-damaged fuzz-bass breakdown,” “strep-throat rawness,” “inherent ugliness” and “post-hardcore sludge-punk.”

Danny Michel with the Garifuna Collective – Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me… Danny Michel lives in Belize now.

AC Newman – Shut Down The Streets… Neko Case guests on this album, so in your heart you can treat it like a New Pornographers record.

Old Man Luedecke – Tender Is The Night… The album title is a reference to the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel of the same name.

Lindi Ortega – Cigarettes & Truckstops… No Depression says this is “one of the best Americana music releases of the year.”

Peter Peter – Une version améliorée de la tristesse… Polaris People Gregory Pack (ex-The Stills) and drummer Francis Mineau (Malajube) contribute to this album.

Purity Ring – Shrines… The Edmonton electro-pop act has covered Soulja Boy and released the song “Belispeak II” with rapper Danny Brown.

Rah Rah – The Poet’s Dead… Former Wintersleep member Jud Haynes did the artwork for this album.

Rhye – Woman… This band is made up of two dudes.

Daniel Romano – Come Cry With Me… Pop Matters called this “a collection of tunes both idiosyncratic and classic.”

Colin Stetson – New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light… Spin says “music this peerless at conveying isolation, loneliness, and alienation is sure to draw a sympathetic crowd.”

Suuns – Images du futur… NME say Suuns “paint a pretty bleak picture of all our tomorrows, but their own dazzling ‘…Futur' looks assured.”

Tegan And Sara – Heartthrob… This hit #1 on the US Alternative and the US Rock Album charts.

Al Tuck – Stranger At The Wake… This album came out on New Scotland Records, the label of multi-Polaris nominee Joel Plaskett. Oops. Sorry, this album actually came out on Cameron House Records.

Whitehorse – The Fate Of The World Depends On This Kiss… Nik Kozub of Shout Out Out Out Out provided “beats” on the song “Jane.”

Young Galaxy – Ultramarine… Drowned In Sound says it’s “their finest release yet.”


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