The 2016 SOCAN Songwriting Prize was awarded today to the Toronto-via-Calgary band Fast Romantics for their song “Julia,” beating out the likes of Polaris Music Prize nominees The Strumbellas, Dilly Dally and Andy Shauf. Each year, SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) hands out the Prize to honour the music created by emerging Canadian songwriters.
“Julia,” released as a single in the spring of 2015, is a catchy rock tune with a few curious experimental rhymes. It was produced by Gus Van Go and Werner F, who have previously worked with Hollerado, Said the Whale and Rah Rah. Fast Romantics has not released a full album since their 2013 sophomore release Afterlife Blues, but they made a new song, “Animal,” available in January. This isn’t the first accolade Fast Romantics have captured as they took home Pop Group of the Year at the 2014 SiriusXM Indies.
“Amazed to hear that our tune ‘Julia’ just won the SOCAN Songwriting Prize,” said Matthew Angus, singer and main songwriter of the band, on Facebook. “A massive thanks to all of you fans for voting, to the wonderful people on the Panel, to all nine of the other nominees who all wrote such deserving, amazing songs […] We’re feelin’ pretty buzzed today”.
The SOCAN Songwriting Prize was first handed out in 2006. To pick the nominees, two panels, one for English tracks and one for French, made up of experts from the Canadian music industry pick what they consider to be the most creative songs from the past year. After the nominations are tallied, the top 10 are announced as finalists. The public then vote to determine the winner. The award comes with $10,000 in cash as well as gear from Godin Guitars and Yamaha.
Winners from years past include The Weakerthans for “Night Windows,” Kathleen Edwards for “A Soft Place to Land,” and Karkwa – in the Francophone competition – for “Oublie Pas.”
Check out “Julia,” winner of the 2016 SOCAN Songwriting prize, and it’s video starring the sweet moves of Fred Astaire.