Thursday, June 15, 2023

Polaris Prize unveils 40 nominees from Feist to Aysanabee

Story and photos by Allan Tong

The Polaris Prize, honouring Canada's best recorded music, announced this year's long list of 40 nominees last Tuesday evening. Sonic Boom, Toronto biggest record store, played host. Feist, Jessie Reyez, The Sadies and Murray Lightburn (of the Dears) made the list along with newcomers Eliza Niemi and Zoon. The full list:

Alvvays – Blue Rev
Aquakultre – Don’t Trip
Aysanabee – Watin
Badge Époque Ensemble – Clouds Of Joy
Begonia – Powder Blue
Bibi Club – Le soleil et la mer
BIG|BRAVE – nature morte
Philippe Brach – Les gens qu’on aime
Mariel Buckley – Everywhere I Used To Be
Daniel Caesar – Never Enough
Chiiild – Better Luck In The Next Life
Feist – Multitudes
Debby Friday – Good Luck
Gayance – Mascarade
Ghostkeeper – Multidimensional Culture
Home Front – Games of Power
JayWood – Slingshot
Khotin – Release Spirit
Thierry Larose – Sprint!
Murray Lightburn – Once Upon A Time In Montreal
Isabella Lovestory – Amor Hardcore
Dan Mangan – Being Somewhere
N NAO – L’eau et les rêves
Tami Neilson – Kingmaker

Eliza Niemi – Staying Mellow Blows

Nico Paulo – Nico Paulo
Planet Giza – Ready When You Are
poolblood – mole
Jessie Reyez – Yessie
The Sadies – Colder Streams
Jairus Sharif – Water & Tools
Andy Shauf – Norm
Dylan Sinclair – No Longer In The Suburbs
Snotty Nose Rez Kids – I’m Good, HBU?
Alexandra Stréliski – Néo-Romance
U.S. Girls – Bless This Mess
Witch Prophet – Gateway Experience
Yoo Doo Right – A Murmur, Boundless to the East

Zoon – Bekka Ma’iingan

Nominee Aysanabee answered 10 questions:

1) Where are you from?

A lot of places. Sandy Lake First Nation [Ontario] till I was four, then I lived in every northern town from Winnipeg to Thunder Bay, but now I'm based in Toronto.

2) Favourite musician?

Teeks, a Maori artist from New Zealand.

3) The first record that changed your life?

A Bob Marley greatest hits album on CD.

4) Do you collect vinyl?

I just started to. I recently got a vinyl player. I only have four records now.

5) What are you listening to now?

The Digging Roots album. ShoShana Kish, who founded the label I'm on, along with Amanda Rheume ignited this whole musicial journey for me.

6) What living musician would you love to collaborate on?

Oh, that's a toughie...I'm really in love with Nemesis' music right now.

7) And a musician who's no longer with us?

I'd like to see what me and Bob Marley can do.

8) What comic book superhero would you like to be?

I have a ton of comics that my grandfather gave me. I always loved the Batman comics.

9) Do you see yourself as a particular animal?

Definitely a bird, because I love to fly.

10) Where would you eventually love to settle?

Either in a rustic cabin in the mountains of the west, or I come into some money and start a recording studio and hostel in Thailand. I'd have a little stage where they'd be mandatory listening parties for a crochety, old me AYSANABEE walks out and plays his new song, then goes back to the studio.

The Polaris will announce their short list on July 13, then hosts the Polaris Gala on September 19 at Massey Hall. October 19 sees the Heritage Prize awarded to a Canadian album recorded before the Polaris began in 2006. Details of all events are found at

No comments:

Post a Comment