After months of discussion, debate, and disagreement, the fifth annual Polaris Music Prize was awarded on Monday night to Karkwa for the stellar Les chemins de verre. The Montreal outfit’s win was something of a surprise, beating out heavyweight Broken Social Scene and past Polaris winners Owen Pallett and Caribou. I had personally pegged Dan Mangan’s Nice, Nice, Very Nice for the win, and a number of the other blogs and critics out there had their money on Shad taking the prize, which all made Karkwa’s victory even more of a surprise [in the best way].
Much of this year’s discourse revolved around whether the prize ought to be awarded to past winners or larger acts that don’t necessarily require the money and exposure that comes with the win, or if all that should be overlooked in the name of pure artistic merit. Certainly, Forgiveness Rock Record and Heartland are deserving albums, but a Polaris win wouldn’t do much in the way of promoting or praising them any more than they already have been. The heavy hitters are popular for a reason, especially in independent music, where quality is what makes or breaks an artist. Without a broader consideration of talent, we would be seeing the same names every year saturating the nominee list, making the pool that much more shallow, and the award far more akin to the Junos.
However, all that talk is pointless now. Congratulations to Karkwa, Polaris Prize 2010 winner for Les chemins de verre!by kevanh 24 Sep 2010 in In The News, Soft Signal