I’d like to issue a big congratulations to Godspeed You! Black Emperor, who took hope the Polaris Music Prize earlier tonight. If you’re not familiar with the Polaris Music Prize, it’s an annual music award given to the best full length album by a Canadian band or artist within a given year. Things like genre, album sales or record labels don’t have any bearing on nominations or wins, and ultimately it really is about artistry. The winner receives a $30,000 cash prize. The shortlist this year included records from Zaki Ibrahim, Metric, METZ, Purity Ring, Colin Stetson, Tegan and Sara, A Tribe Called Red, Whitehorse and Young Galaxy. But it was Godspeed that wound up taking home the gold for their 2012 album Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!. That’s the record that would have gotten my vote too. If you look at my Top 10 Albums of 2012, you’ll notice that Godspeed sits at a healthy #4, and is the highest ranking of any Canadian artists (sorry Grimes at #5…which made the Polaris shortlist in 2012 but lost). So needless to say I’m exceptionally pleased with the results of this year’s voting. Last year’s win by Feist rang a little hollow, perhaps because that’s how her album felt to me when I listened to it. The crazy thing too about Godspeed’s win is that they were pretty much the only nominated band that didn’t attend or perform at the ceremony. Of course they’ve never been a traditional collective by any means, and their fiercely political stances ultimately drove them to take an extended hiatus for close to 10 years before they re-emerged in 2011, There’s no official response from the band on their win quite yet , but I suspect that while they’ll be happy about it, other less upbeat emotions might play into it as well. In the meantime though, I continue to wish them the best with the hope that they remain true to themselves. That’s what’s most important for any artist, in my opinion. There’s a few of those types in today’s Pick Your Poison. See if you can sniff them out. A few good hints would be to keep an ear to tracks from Arliss Nancy, Ducky, England in 1819, EPROM, Midnite on Pearl Beach and Wild Ones. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Jenny Hval (covering Paul Simon), Jensen Sportag, Passion Pit’s remix of The Joy Formidable, Movement, PAWS (covering Elliott Smith) and Xiu Xiu (covering Nina Simone).
Wolfmoon – My Kind of People
Jenny Hval – The Cool, Cool River (Paul Simon cover)
Jensen Sportag – Under the Rose
The Joy Formidable – Silent Treatment (Passion Pit Remix)
Movement – Us
PAWS – Needle in the Hay (Elliott Smith cover)
Xiu Xiu – Don’t Smoke in Bed (Nina Simone cover)