Ar­cade Fire, Daniel Cae­sar and Gord Downie make Po­laris list


Ris­ing R&B singer Daniel Cae­sar’s de­but, the lat­est ef­fort by Ar­cade Fire, and a post­hu­mous work from Gord Downie are among the long-listed al­bums for the Po­laris Mu­sic Prize.

The ju­ried award for best Cana­dian al­bum of the year was nar­rowed down to 40 con­tenders who could qual­ify for the short list re­vealed next month.

Among the projects named is “Ev­ery­thing Now,” the dis­corock so­cial state­ment re­leased last year by Ar­cade Fire, who pre­vi­ously won the Po­laris for “The Sub­urbs” in 2011.

Cae­sar’s break­out col­lec­tion of slow jams, “Freudian,” joins other al­bums that made an im­pact, in­clud­ing Downie’s “In­tro­duce Yer­self,” a se­ries of love let­ters writ­ten by the Trag­i­cally Hip front­man to his friends shortly be­fore he died of brain can­cer.

Sev­eral in­die dar­lings also made the long list, among them Toronto dream pop band Alv­vays with “An­ti­so­cialites,” as well as Ba­hamas for the al­bum “Earth­tones” and Char­lotte Day Wil­son with “Stone Woman.”

The Po­laris jury also se­lected a num­ber of con­cept al­bums from In­dige­nous artists.

Jeremy Dutcher’s “Wo­las­to­qiyik Lin­tuwakon­awa” melds the op­er­atic tenor’s voice with cen­tury-old record­ings of peo­ple speak­ing the Wo­las­toq lan­guage, while “The Average Sav­age” from hip-hop duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids is a staunch re­jec­tion of racism and stereo­types lev­elled against res­i­den­tial com­mu­ni­ties.

Other high­lights in­clude “Both Ways” from Sar­nia, Ont.-raised coun­try per­former Donovan Woods, “Lil Mont from The Ave” by Toronto rap­per Clair­mont The Sec­ond and “New Mis­takes” from Hamil­ton singer-song­writer Terra Light­foot.

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