Music

Daniel Caesar, Jessie Reyez, Caribou and more make the 2020 Polaris Music Prize long list

The annual award honours the best Canadian album of the year.

The annual award honours the best Canadian album of the year

Toronto R&B artist Jessie Reyez is nominated for the Polaris Music Prize for a 2nd year in a row. (Supplied by the artist)

The 2020 Polaris Music Prize long list was announced today and, as usual, the top 40 albums vying for the title of best Canadian album of the year are a mix of new and familiar names.

Four previous winners make an appearance on this year's list: Owen Pallett (2006), Caribou (2008), Kaytranada (2016) and Lido Pimienta (2017). Louis-Jean Cormier, the former lead singer of the 2010 Polaris Prize-winning act Karkwa, is also on the long list. 

Other previously long- or shortlisted acts include Daniel Caesar, Jessie Reyez, Andy Shauf, U.S. Girls and the Weeknd. 

But there are also a number of exciting newcomers to the Polaris Prize. Debut albums by Edmonton rock group nêhiyawak, Toronto kulintang ensemble Pantayo, Winnipeg singer-songwriter Begonia and Montreal act Flore Laurentienne were honoured.

And while not nominated for their debut releases, Allie X, Cindy Lee, Aquakultre and Backxwash also made the cut. 

The long list was chosen by a panel of 199 Canadian jurors (which includes many CBC Music producers), who will vote once more to narrow the nominees down to a 10-album short list, which will be announced on July 15. Eligible albums must have been released between June 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020. (Although albums released between May 1 and May 31, 2019, that didn't make the 2019 long list were also considered.) Judging is based solely on artistic merit, with no consideration for genre or record sales. 

The winner, who will receive a $50,000 grand prize, will be voted on by a grand jury and revealed live on CBC Gem and CBCMusic.ca/Polaris during a special event scheduled to take place this fall. More details on the event will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Last year, Toronto rapper Haviah Mighty took home the title, making her the first hip-hop artist and Black woman to ever win the Polaris Music Prize. 

Here are all 40 longlisted albums:

  • Allie X, Cape God 
  • Anachnid, Dreamweaver
  • Aquakultre, Legacy
  • Marie-Pierre Arthur, Des feux pour voir
  • Backxwash, God Has Nothing to do With This Leave Him Out of It
  • Badge Époque Ensemble, Badge Époque Ensemble
  • Begonia, Fear
  • P'tit Belliveau, Greatest Hits Vol. 1
  • Caribou, Suddenly
  • Daniel Caesar, CASE STUDY 01
  • Chocolat, Jazz engagé
  • Louis-Jean Cormier, Quand la nuit tombe
  • Corridor, Junior
  • dvsn, A Muse In Her Feelings
  • Jacques Greene, Dawn Chorus
  • Sarah Harmer, Are You Gone
  • Ice Cream, FED UP
  • Junia-T, Studio Monk
  • Kaytranada, Bubba
  • Flore Laurentienne, Volume 1
  • Cindy Lee, What's Tonight to Eternity?
  • Men I Trust, Oncle Jazz
  • nêhiyawak, nipiy
  • OBUXUM, Re-birth
  • Owen Pallett, Island
  • Pantayo, Pantayo
  • Lido Pimienta, Miss Colombia
  • Joel Plaskett, 44
  • William Prince, Reliever
  • Jessie Reyez, Before Love Came to Kill Us
  • Andy Shauf, The Neon Skyline
  • Riit, ataataga
  • Super Duty Tough Work, Studies in Grey
  • U.S. Girls, Heavy Light
  • Leif Vollebekk, New Ways
  • Wares, Survival
  • The Weeknd, After Hours
  • WHOOP-Szo, Warrior Down
  • Witch Prophet, DNA Activation
  • Zen Bamboo, GLU
Haviah Mighty's 13th Floor wins the 2019 Polaris Music Prize. 5:11

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