Who do you hope will win this year’s Polaris Music Prize?
I’m pulling for Grimes. Her rapid ascent has been something to behold – supporting Lykke Li, signing to 4AD, touring Canada in a train with Skrillex and Diplo, designing certain anatomically themed jewelry. But, more importantly, I feel like Claire speaks to how
my generation experiences and consumes culture – that is, in a virtual universe where
Tchaikovsky, Enya, and Mariah Carey are equally a few keystrokes and clicks away. For the
sake of argument, I think she’s our Cindy Lauper.
Japandroids. Like The Sheepdogs, their music is riff heavy, their lyrics are catchy and inspired, especially when held up against similar popular music. Japandroids remind
me that not all rock sounds the same, and the notion of a “different” rock sound isn’t dead.
I'm pulling for Japandroids. They released a great album that's chock full of monster choruses, vital energy and a spirit of camaraderie. Nothing else nominated seems so effortlessly life affirming as these 8 songs.
I’m really hoping Yamantaka//Sonic Titan’s YT//ST wins. For me, it’s the most intriguing album on the list, and while an album like Celebration Rock is thoroughly enjoyable and deserving of its praise, YT//ST is much more daring album; I mean, it’s a pretty damn weird record, but I think it’s the coolest.
Who do you think will win this year’s prize?
I’m not really sure. Maybe Cold Specks will win as the unknown quantity. She seems to
have been riding a bit of a buzz wave this summer.
Kathleen Edwards. People go nuts for self-loathing break-up albums. While I’m not a huge
fan, there’s no denying the soul and passion in Edwards’ voice. Even if she wins Polaris
2012, I won’t be terribly upset.
Grimes feels like the perfect choice. Her music seems to lack a purpose outside decorating her own world, but this brand she's created with visuals, performance and media is all too compelling to dismiss. She's young, creative and hitting her stride; I can't see the prize money being wasted here.
I feel like it’s a pretty hard call, as I’d say this is a pretty strong short list in terms of musical integrity. I really think any of the albums on the short list very well could win this year’s Polaris.
Do you think all the albums are deserving of their nomination?
I feel like the Polaris always walks this precarious line between introducing fans to new,
more unknown artists, and recognizing more middle-of-the-road Canadian independent music. I personally feel like the prize perhaps gets duller or less relevant when it overly favours the latter (i.e. last year when it was given to The Suburbs). With that in mind – yes Metals, David Comes to Life, and Sound Kapital were satisfying enough records, but did they need the short-list exposure? I’m not so sure.
Absolutely not. I think the exclusion of some great French-Canadian music for yet another
Urban/Hip Hop album is just infuriating. Take Yamantaka//Sonic Titan out, and
put Avec pas d'casque in the short list.
Take Care has approximately 4.6 jams on it and then you have 12.4 additional recordings of Yung Puffs® Plus remembering the ‘90s in the shower. Soaking wet. And the shower wasn't even on.
All save for Drake’s Take Care. I’m fine if Drake’s not really on a specific note when he’s rapping, but when he tries to sing in that awful, monotonous, atonal drawl, I want to get like Limp Bizkit and break stuff. Learn to sing, or get a vocoder, god damnit.
Was there an album you think should have been included on the short list, but wasn’t?
Yes! Tender Opposites, was released by Montreal’s TOPS to fairly little fanfare, and it’s a phenomenally warm and textured debut from a delightful, homespun pop band. Front-woman Jane Penny (such an awesome name) had me rapt through its 33 minutes.
I think taking Leonard Cohen and Joel Plaskett Emergency out of short list contention
were odd choices. I’m also upset that John K. Samson and Memoryhouse weren’t in
contention at all. Oh well. As long as Rush’s Clockwork Angels is up for Polaris 2013, I’m a-okay.
Azari & III's debut if only because Reckless “(With Your Love)” and "Manic" are grade A bangers.
White Lung’s Sorry, and BADBADNOTGOOD’s BBNG2 are two of my favourite albums that came out this year. Both are absolutely fantastic, and I only have good things to say about both. If you haven’t listened to either, put this down and go listen to them.
Will Drake actually show up for the awards gala?
Maybe? Although, perhaps he’s too busy further desecrating Aaliyah demos.
I think the better question is, “Does it matter if Drake shows up at the awards gala?”
And miss Kevin Sorbo's birthday bash?
I hope not; this way, I have another reason to hate Drake.