Karkwa took home the Polaris Prize last month.
Canadian music award goes to Karkwa
I want to start this article by being quite honest: I had never heard of Karkwa, the winners of this year’s Polaris Music Prize. The prize is awarded by a jury consisting of over 200 members from local and national media who display a wide breadth and depth of knowledge of Canadian music and a passion for discovering new albums, and it is unique in that it is awarded strictly on artistic merit. It is declared by many as the most important music prize awarded in Canada not due to the money, but the launching of careers and respect that is garnered by the journalists and musicians alike. The benefits that an unknown, entirely francophone band from Quebec will gain from a prize like this are immense, nationally and internationally.
I’d like to think that the grand jury didn’t award the prize with political motives, but I feel as if awarding a francophone band was “the right move.” They’ve already awarded it to a homosexual violinist (year one) and a band with Fuck in their title (year four). My guess for this year would have been hip hop, and I am sad to see my prediction, Shad, not take it home.
Awarding an entirely francophone band in a bilingual country was bound to happen. Was this the year to do it? Was this the band to win?
The songs on Karkwa
s now acclaimed Les chemins de verre build and fall with vast epicness. It translates really well live, their performance of ``Lacophene`` more than wowed everyone watching the Gala in Toronto or in the far reaches of the interwebs. Musically they are really interesting. They feature sudden changes in key and time, four part harmonies of mostly hums and hahs, and catchy melodies that made you wish you spoke French.
By Sven N. Peterson - Contributor Oct 5