There are a few playlists for you to listen to this week. Polaris and music festivals are the topics of the day.

The first playlist has a couple tracks from each album that made it on the to short list. I was sad that The Barr Brothers and YAMANTAKA//SONIC TITAN didn’t make it to the Short List but there is a lot of great albums on there with a variety of genres. The short list albums are:

Alvvays – Antisocialites

This album was not on my list. I did enjoy this one more than their last album but it still doesn’t hit the mark for me.

Daniel Caesar – Freudian

Also not on my list. There was a buzz about this album early on. It’s in that R&B pop area that seems popular in Toronto.  The album is well done but not one of my favourites.

Hubert Lenoir – Darléne

With an album name like that, what’s not to like?. 😉  Seriously, this guy is a delight and his debut pop album was one of my favourite discoveries. We will be hearing more from this young man.

Jean-Michel Blais – dans ma main

What a beautiful haunting album this one is. It landed in my heart and on to my ballot.

Jeremy Dutcher – Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa

This album was on both my ballots. It is the perfect example of artistic merit in my mind. He had the opportunity to work at the Canadian Museum of History, where he found and transcribed Wolastoq songs on wax cylinders from 1907.  He made new compositions from those recordings and sometimes sang with them. It is amazing and is helping to save a lost language and culture.

Partner – In Search of Lost Time

This album was a lot of fun and I love it. It wasn’t on my list because of those artistic merit guidelines that exist in my head.

Pierre Kwenders – MAKANDA at the End of Space, the Beginning of Time

His last album was a favourite discovery of mine previously and this album is even better. He tells his stories in multiple languages using Congolese rumba, Afro-pop and some of that Montreal sound in the music. Fantastic!

Snotty Nose Rez Kids – Average Savage

This group was another one of my favourite discoveries this year. This hip hop album is full of truths for all of us to listen to and sounds great while they are doing it.

U.S. Girls – In a Poem Unlimited

This album was on both my ballots as well. Quirky, disco, hip hop, alt pop socio-political album that it is. I love powerful women empowering other women and layering that with creative sounding music. Very interesting!

Weaves – Wide Open

Speaking of powerful women, this band is led by one powerful sounding one. I am a big fan of Weaves. This album almost made my ballot but not quite.



My mind is now moving towards festivals. Festival season has been in full swing for awhile but my first summer festival of the year is coming up July 27-29 out in Bengough, Saskatchewan. The Gateway Music Festival is a great little festival in the badlands of the prairies. There is a lot of Saskatchewan artists along with a few big names. The line up includes BIG SUGAR / THE KENTUCKY HEADHUNTERS / STEVEN PAGE / KATHLEEN EDWARDS / YUKON BLONDE / ELLIOTT BROOD / JOHN K SAMSON / TERRA LIGHTFOOT / WILLIAM PRINCE / MEGAN NASH / BELLE PLAINE / CHIXDIGGIT / ELLEN FROESE / POOR NAMELESS BOY and many more. It is a pretty cool set up with 2 stages with alternating times. While they are setting up on one stage you enjoy the artists on the other stage, then turn your chair or mosey over to the other stage while the other one is being changed over and repeat. It works pretty well. Michael Dawson (Library Voices) is the Artistic Director and does a pretty great job of finding something to keep everyone happy. I highly recommend you come check it out. In the meantime, listen to some of the great music I will be hearing out there next weekend.


Blog member, morgana, is gearing up to head to a favourite festival of hers. Kaslo Jazz Etc Festival in Kaslo Bay Park, BC looks like a fantastic festival and I am hoping to make it there one of these years. The stage is out on the water and the audience is on the beach or out on the water themselves. Fantastic location and great music seems like a good thing to me. Below is a playlist of what morgana will be hearing this year.


What festivals are you excited about or have been to already? Any thoughts on the Polaris Short List? Let us know below.