Well, this is it. The 2010 Polaris Prize will be announced this Monday September 20th. Along with the title, one lucky artist or group will receive $20,000 (Canadian, of course).

For the past couple months the folks at CBC Radio 3 have been conducting a poll on listener reaction to who should win the 2010 Polaris Prize. As of writing, their poll shows Dan Mangan taking the popular vote by a whopping 33%, but this is no surprise as he has held a commanding lead pretty much since day 1 of voting. To make things more interesting Radio 3 has been posting predictions from notable Canadian figures such as Sebastien Grainger (prediction: Caribou), Jann Arden (prediction: Tegan and Sara), Minister of Canadian Heritage James Moore (prediction: Tegan and Sara), Alan Cross (prediction: Broken Social Scene), Jeremy Morris of Midnight Poutine (prediction: Karkwa with Radio Radio coming second), Bob Krobauer of Vancouver Is Awesome (prediction: Vancouverite Dan Mangan), Jordan Delic of Aux TV (prediction: Shad), and Randy Bachman (!) (prediction: the Sadies).

If you’re looking to put money down and bet for this year’s Polaris winner, both CHARTattack and Alan Cross of Explore Music have you covered. On Wednesday CHARTattack released their yearly Polaris Music Prize Betting Line. Last year, with mere hours before the gala, they correctly predicted the victory of Toronto hardcore punk band Fucked Up. This year they have the Besnard Lakes down for the win. Alan Cross, the master himself of ongoing new music history, has chimed in with his odds too. Interestingly, he puts the Besnard Lakes in last place and gives the win to Tegan and Sara.

For more insight into this year’s prize, I recommend checking out

  • The Polaris Prize Shortlist in which the authors Gary, Ryan, and Dave have each provided a review for every album on this year’s shortlist. (Note: Despite the title of the blog, these guys aren’t officially associated with the Polaris Prize.)
  • The Broken Speaker which provides reviews for each of the shortlisted albums as well as a couple panel discussions on this year’s prize.
  • radio free canuckistan which provides even more reviews for the ten shortlist albums, as well the chances of winning for each album, and a list of albums that should have made the short list.

If all these predictions weren’t enough for you, I’ll share one more list to keep in mind. The R3-30, the weekly chart show on CBC Radio 3, has compiled the Polaris rankings as if the prize were to be decided by R3-30 chart performance: #10 – Tegan & Sara, #9 – RadioRadio, #8 – Karkwa, #7 – Caribou, #6 – The Sadies, #5 – Dan Mangan, #4 – The Besnard Lakes, #3-#1 – Owen Pallett, Shad & Broken Social Scene.

So who will take the prize this year?

I’ve been liking Karkwa a lot lately. My initial pick was the Besnard Lakes. Tegan and Sara, the Besnard Lakes, Shad, and the Sadies all seem to be the odds-on favourites of the critics. Some people have said they can’t see Dan Mangan taking it, but I think he has a fighting chance. As good as the respective albums are, I would be surprised if past winners Owen Pallett (2006) or Caribou (2008) take the title again. That being said, don’t listen to a word I’ve just written. I’ve guessed wrong for every year but one. In fact, last year I placed Fucked Up as least likely to win. To help you make up your own mind, I’ve put together a playlist of all the songs from shortlisted albums available on CBC Radio 3. Take a listen and judge for yourself!

To find out this year’s winner, tune into the Polaris Prize Gala show streaming live on CBC Radio 3 and Sirius Satellite Channel 86 (audio only) and on MuchMusic (video). The Polaris Prize Gala will be held at the Masonic Temple in Toronto on Monday September 20th at 8pm EST, 5pm PST.

After listening to all ten shortlisted albums, I’ve picked out two of my favourite songs from each. Enjoy!

The Polaris Short List 2010 Mixtape:

Besnard Lakes – Albatross

Besnard Lakes – Like the Ocean, Like the Innocent Pt. 2: The Innocent

Broken Social Scene – Texaco Bitches

Broken Social Scene – Forced to Love

Caribou – Leave House

Caribou – Odessa

Karkwa – Le Bon Sens

Karkwa – Les Chemins De Verre

Dan Mangan – Road Regrets

Dan Mangan – Et Les Mots Croisés

Owen Pallett – Tryst With Mephistopheles

Owen Pallett – The Great Elsewhere

Radio Radio – Dekshoo

Radio Radio – Guess What

The Sadies – Another Year Again

The Sadies – Postcards

Shad – Yaa I Get It

Shad – Keep Shining

Tegan and Sara – Hell

Tegan and Sara – The Cure

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