So the short list for the Polaris Music Prize was announced a couple of days ago and is full of the usual suspects.  Now, I am indeed a betting man, but frankly I’m not sure who I would put money on in this race – it will be interesting to see whether we have a repeat winner (both Caribou and Owen Pallett/Final Fantasy are nominated this year), or whether someone new joins the ranks of previous winners Fucked Up, Patrick Watson, and the aforementioned Caribou and Final Fantasy.

Without further delay, here is the short list (along with some selected songs).

The Besnard Lakes – The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night

Glass Printer is the fifth song off of husband and wife duo The Besnard Lakes’ third studio album.  This one is like a fuzzed out, slightly psychedelic slice of Canadiana.  Also, the vocals kind of remind me of Sloan…

[mp3] The Besnard Lakes – Glass Printer

Owen Pallett – Heartland

Track 8 off of this album is Lewis Takes Off His Shirt, which features some horns accompanying Owen’s characteristic looped strings to great effect.  The multitude of diverse sounds build up at the end to create a clear, beautiful, and driven chorus.

[mp3] Owen Pallett – Lewis Takes Off His Shirt

Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record

Opener World Sick is the clear standout here, but Chase Scene, waiting on the on-deck circle, is no pushover either.  The frantic energy and build-up make Chase Scene an astute title – listening to this one while walking down the street will have you turning around nervously every 30 seconds to make sure no one is running after you.

[mp3] Broken Social Scene – Chase Scene

Caribou – Swim

Opening song Odessa is the most popular tune off of Caribou’s most recent release and with good reason.  Super-danceable and yet a total chill-out song, its blending of diverse elements into melodies and catchy rhythms is an addictive hallmark of all Caribou material.

[mp3] Caribou – Odessa

Dan Mangan – Nice, Nice, Very Nice

Dan Mangan’s “Robots” makes a return appearance from the Roboteering (great name!) EP into Nice, Nice, Very Nice which is no surprise seeing as how it was arguably the Canadian song of year in 2009.  Remember, robots need love too.

[mp3] Dan Mangan – Robots

Other artists who made the short list: