Polaris Prize list taps Feist, Leonard Cohen

Feist and Leonard Cohen are among 40 nominees longlisted for the $30,000 Polaris Prize, an annual music award for the best Canadian album of the past year.
Feist, seen performing at the 2012 Juno Awards in April, has been nominated for the Polaris Prize. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

Feist and Leonard Cohen are among 40 nominees longlisted for the $30,000 Polaris Prize, an annual music award for the best Canadian album of the past year.

They join a diverse list of artists — both established and emerging — announced in Vancouver on Thursday.

Cohen is nominated for Old Ideas, his 2012 album that became the first No. 1 album of his career. He'll tour through Canada in support of Old Ideas later this year.

Singer-songwriter Feist is nominated for her latest album Metals, after making the shortlist in 2007 for The Reminder.

Toronto rapper Drake is recognized for his new album Take Care, while Edmonton's Cadence Weapon is in the running for Hope in Dirt City.

The Polaris Prize is chosen solely on merit, without regard to genre, album sales or previous recognition. The 2011 winner was Arcade Fire's The Suburbs, but the prize has also gone to lesser-known artists such as Owen Pallett and Karkwa.

The 40 nominated artists and their albums are:

  1. A Tribe Called Red, A Tribe Called Red.
  2. Marie-Pierre Arthur, Aux alentours.
  3. Rich Aucoin, We’re All Dying to Live.
  4. Avec pas d'casque, Astronomie.
  5. Azari & III, Azari & III.
  6. Bahamas, Barchords.
  7. The Barr Brothers, The Barr Brothers.
  8. Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Kings and Queens.
  9. Cadence Weapon, Hope in Dirt City.
  10. Kathryn Calder, Bright and Vivid.
  11. Cannon Bros, Firecracker/Cloudglow.
  12. Coeur de pirate, Blonde.
  13. Leonard Cohen, Old Ideas.
  14. Cold Specks, I Predict a Graceful Expulsion.
  15. Rose Cousins, We Have Made a Spark.
  16. Mark Davis, Eliminate the Toxins.
  17. Drake, Take Care.
  18. Feist, Metals.
  19. F--ked Up, David Comes to Life.
  20. Mares Of Thrace, The Pilgrimage.
  21. Kathleen Edwards,Voyageur.
  22. Great Lake Swimmers, New Wild Everywhere.
  23. Grimes, Visions.

  24. Handsome Furs, Sound Kapital.

  25. Japandroids, Celebration Rock

  26. Dan Mangan, Oh Fortune.
  27. Ariane Moffatt, MA.
  28. Lindi Ortega, Little Red Boots.
  29. Parlovr, Kook Soul.
  30. Sandro Perri, Impossible Spaces.
  31. Joel Plaskett Emergency, Scrappy Happiness.
  32. PS I Love You, Death Dreams.
  33. John K. Samson, Provincial.
  34. Shooting Guns, Born To Deal In Magic: 1952-1976.

  35. The Slakadeliqs, The Other Side of Tomorrow.
  36. Patrick Watson, Adventures In Your Own Backyard.
  37. Bry Webb, Provider.
  38. The Weeknd, Echoes of Silence.
  39. Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, YT//ST.
  40. Yukon Blonde, Tiger Talk.

The award was founded in 2006 as Canada's answer to Britain's Mercury Prize, which also selects artists on merit alone.

A jury of 200 music journalists, bloggers and broadcasters from across Canada selects the Polaris nominees. A short list will be announced July 27 and the winner named Sept. 24.