The Weakerthans Up for ECHO Songwriting Prize

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Winnipeg indie rock poets The Weakerthans are up for one of Canada's most prestigious national songwriting prizes: The ECHO Songwriting Prize. The award-winning act's song "Night Windows," off its latest Epitaph release, Reunion Tour, stands against songs from Veda Hille, Wintersleep, Sandro Perri, and Socalled.

SOCAN initiated the prize in order to identify developing talent in today's independent music scene. According to SOCAN's website, "the prize honours some of the most innovative, creative and artistic songs created in the past year by emerging songwriters in Canada." A panel of industry experts -- including Winnipeg Free Press staffer and The Tab editor Jill Wilson -- whittled the finalists down to the top five and now the public can make the final decision through online voting. Winning songwriters will receive a $5000 cash prize.

Manitoba artists have a strong track record with the three-year ECHO prize. In 2006, the inaugural ECHO prize went to local political punk outfit Propagandhi and its song "A Speculative Fiction." Last year, Juno-winning Winnipeg-based roots quartet Nathan and its song “Scarecrow” were nominated.

The ECHO prize is another in The Weakerthans’ list of accolades for Reunion Tour this year. The band is up for the influential Polaris Music Prize and four Western Canadian Music Awards this fall. They’ll also join the Barenaked Ladies, Luke Doucet, Melissa McClelland, Great Big Sea, The New Odds, The Mountain Goats, Sloan, and Winnipeg’s Christine Fellows on BNL’s Ships and Dip music cruise in February.

Click here to vote for the ECHO Songwriting Prize. You can vote for your favourite once a day, from now until the deadline of 4:59 p.m. on September 29, 2008.

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