The 2021 Polaris Music Prize reveals shortlist

Albums from Quebec singer Dominique Fils-Aimé and Toronto rapper Tobi have been shortlisted for this year’s Polaris Music Prize.

The selection of 10 albums will face off for the $50,000 award recognizing the best Canadian album of the year, as chosen by a team of journalists, broadcasters and bloggers.

longlist of 40 albums was previously announced on Jun. 15. That list has been narrowed down to the following selection:

  • Theory of Ice, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
  • Parallel World, Cadence Weapon
  • Head Above the Waters, Dijah SB
  • Three Little Words, Dominique Fils-Aimé
  • When Smoke Rises, Mustafa
  • The Ends, the OBGMs
  • Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs, Klô Pelgag
  • Elements Vol. 1, Tobi
  • Ignorance, the Weather Station
  • Bleached Wavves, Zoon

Canadian hip hop, rap celebrated across four albums

Fils-Aimé’s Three Little Words completes a trilogy of albums celebrating the history of Black-American music, while Tobi’s Elements Vol. 1 fuses hip hop, jazz, pop and R&B.

Other Polaris-nominated albums include two efforts from Toronto rappers — Cadence Weapon’s Parallel World and DijahSB’s Head Above the Waters, and the debut album of Mustafa, When Smoke Rises.

WATCH | A music video for Canadian artist Mustafa’s song The Hearse:

Works from Indigenous artists are recognized

The Indigenous music scene is represented with Bleached Waves by Zoon, a project from Hamilton-based First Nations musician Daniel Monkman. There’s also Theory of Ice, from Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, a member of Alderville First Nation.

WATCH | The title track from Zoon’s Bleached Waves:

Winning album to be announced in the fall

Toronto folk act the Weather Station is up for their release Ignorance, while the city’s punk outfit the O-B-G-Ms are being recognized for The Ends. Quebec singer-songwriter Klô Pelgag is shortlisted for her album Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs.

The winning album will be chosen by an 11-member grand jury and announced on Sept. 27.

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