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The Chronicle Herald: Polaris Music Prize contenders announced

Joel Plaskett performing at Polaris Music Prize, eyes shut, playing acoustic guitar

Polaris Music Prize nominee Joel Plaskett performs at the Carleton Music Bar and Grill in Halifax following the announcement of the 2015 long list of nominees Tuesday.

By Stephen Cooke, The Chronicle Herald

Canada’s Polaris Music Prize took on an East Coast flavour Tuesday, with the debut of its 2015 Long List at Halifax’s Carleton Music Bar & Grill.

Named among the 40 hopefuls for his new record The Park Avenue Sobriety Test, Dartmouth rocker Joel Plaskett did an unplugged set, while the list was read by Mayor Mike Savage, Old Man Luedecke, and Polaris nominees Elizabeth Shepherd and Whitehorse’s Halifax-born Luke Doucet.

Other East Coast acts among the lucky 40 include athletic Halifax pop performer Rich Aucoin for Ephemeral and Cape Breton/P.E.I. band Alvvays for its self-titled debut, while Vancouver’s the New Pornographers, with their Brill Bruisers album, includes Dartmouth’s Todd Fancey on guitar.

Other Polaris Prize Long List members include Canadian folk legend Buffy Sainte-Marie, former Halifax resident B.A. Johnston, hip-hop star Drake and indie rock favourites Arkells, Death From Above 1979 and Viet Cong.

The top 40 will get whittled down to a short list of 10, announced on July 16, and the grand prize of $50,000 is revealed at Toronto’s Carlu Concert Hall on Sept. 21.