After weeks of anticipation, the Polaris Music Prize announced this year's long list of top Canadian albums and it includes one of Manitoba's most buzzed about bands: Imaginary Cities. The soul/pop duo's debut album, Temporary Resident, was put forward by the 180 member jury -- which includes national music journalists, broadcasters, and bloggers -- along with 39 other names including Arcade Fire and Sloan.
Released on Canadian indie label Hidden Pony in February, the album has already received outstanding reviews, took the top #1 spot on college radio charts in Canada before it was even released, and helped the band snag a coveted opening spot for Pixies recent North American tour. Click here to watch the band's latest video for "Ride This Out".
Fresh from a couple of performances in New York City, Imaginary Cities will take over Toronto's North By Northeast festival on June 16 with a showcase at The Rivoli. The band hits Winnipeg in early July to play the Winnipeg Folk Festival. After playing festivals in Ottawa, Calgary, and Edmonton this summer, they'll head overseas for their second European tour in October.
Expat Luke Doucet can also be found on this year's long list, along with another name from Manitoba's history: Neil Young.
The prestigious Polaris Prize, now in its sixth year, awards to $30,000 to the best full-length Canadian album. The jury makes its selection entirely on artistic merit and not sales figures. Past winners include Fucked Up, Final Fantasy, Caribou, Patrick Watson, and Karkwa.Click here to see the full 2011 long list.
Greg MacPherson's album, Mr. Invitation, put him on the Polaris long list last year.
Christine Fellows and The Weakerthans were long listed the year before, with The Weakerthans' Reunion Tour making it to the short list.
The Polaris Jury will next determine the 10 album short list, which will be revealed July 6 at the Drake Hotel in Toronto on a live broadcast on SIRIUS Satellite Radio Canada’s channel 152 and CBC Radio 3. The winner won't be revealed until the gala on September 19 in Toronto. Both events will be broadcast live on SIRIUS Satellite Radio Canada's channel 152 and CBC Radio 3. The gala will also be on MuchMusic and muchmusic.com.