Quebec artists dominate, hip hop shines on Polaris Music Prize short list

Five Quebecois music acts, whose albums span from avant-garde funk to glitchy club beats, are among the finalists for the 2019 Polaris Music Prize.

Half of this year’s 10 nominees for the $50,000 award, which honours the best album of the year irrespective of genre or sales, have either French-Canadian roots or ties to Quebec.

Among them are experimentalists FET.NAT, electronic mixer Marie Davidson and folk-pop singer Elisapie. They represent the strongest showing of Quebecois artists up for the Polaris prize since 2008, when Montreal-based Patrick Watson took it home.

Others who made the short list include pop songwriter Jessie Reyez, punk rock band PUP, and rap duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids, who lead a roster of artists from Canada’s distinct hip-hop community.

The Polaris winner will be selected by an 11-member jury when it convenes Sept. 16 for a gala dinner at The Carlu in Toronto. Each runner-up receives $3,000 after the event, which CBC Music will be live-streaming.

Here is the full list of artists and albums up for the 2019 Polaris Music Prize:

  • Dominique Fils-Aimé, Dominique Fils-Aimé.
  • Elisapie, The Ballad of the Runaway Girl.
  • FET.NAT, Le Mal.
  • Haviah Mighty, 13th Floor.
  • Jessie Reyez, Being Human In Public.
  • Les Louanges, La nuit est une panthère.
  • Marie Davidson, Working Class Woman.
  • PUP, Morbid Stuff.
  • Shad, A Short Story About A War.
  • Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Trapline.

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