By Mikael Wood
1:42 PM EDT, July 16, 2013
Canada's Polaris Music Prize is putting the "white" in the Great White North.
Nominees for this year's award -- which seeks to recognize "creativity and diversity in Canadian recorded music," according to a statement -- were announced early Tuesday, and Pop & Hiss is here to tell you that it's a truly horrifying collection, with more indie rock than you can shake an ice-encrusted maple leaf at.
Assembled by an "independent jury of over 200 music journalists, broadcasters and music bloggers from across Canada," the short list includes albums by -- deep breath here -- Metric, METZ, Purity Ring, Colin Stetson, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Whitehorse, Young Galaxy and Tegan and Sara.
To be clear, we don't hate all those records.
METZ's noisy self-titled debut punches up fond memories of Big Black and Shellac; Tegan and Sara's "Heartthrob" finds that twin-sister duo working at a higher level of popcraft than ever before. And the muckraking cranks in Godspeed always have something provocative to say, even if their music remains a bit of a chore to get through.
But on a list of 10 albums -- one laughably described as "moody and exciting" by Polaris founder Steve Jordan -- can there really be room for only two releases from outside the indie-rock hothouse? (Those would be Zaki Ibrahim's "Every Opposite" and "Nation II Nation" by A Tribe Called Red.)
Where's the country music? Where's the R&B? And perhaps most importantly, where's Justin Bieber?
The Polaris Music Prize -- which Feist won last year with her album "Metals" -- is to be handed out Sept. 23 at a ceremony in Toronto. For the first time ever, "a limited number of public balcony seat tickets" will be offered to average Joes for $50, organizers said. Count us out.
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