The Polaris Music Prize, Canada’s music award for artistic merit, released its long list of this year’s nominees last week. The list is a mixture of award regulars as well as some new faces, and of the 40 acts that made the list, Tuesday Tracks already brought 15 of them to you. So today, to fill out that list a little more, we’re going to bring you three more of them.
First: The Slew began as a one off project between turntable acrobat Kid Koala, and Dynomite D to create a soundtrack to a feature length documentary. Unfortunately, the documentary went bust, but rather than kill the project all together, D and Koala decided to take their music on the road. The result of their collaboration is the album 100%. Check out the title track here:
Second: Lee Harvey Osmond is comprised of former Junkhouse and Blackie and the Rodeo Kings‘ Tom Wilson as well as, according to their website, “some Cowboy Junkies and Skydiggers.” Not too shabby. Their first album, A Quiet Evil, is held together tight with a restrained tension that runs the course of the record. Punctuated by Wilson’s raspy vocal whispers, “Queen Bee” ushers in enough atmosphere and suspense to make Hitchcock proud.
Finally: The lone jazz performer on the list is vocalist Elizabeth Shepherd. While the Polaris Prize likes to pride itself on ignoring financial success or radio ubiquity when making its selections, the contest generally leans heavy in the direction of guitar based bands with lots of hooky choruses. Not that that is a bad thing, but when a jazz vocalist manages to sneak her way in amongst all the guitar heroes, it makes us smile. Listen to “Seven Bucks” off her new album Heavy Falls the Night.
For the full list, check out the Polaris website here.