The Borealis Music Prize is run by The Overcast and sponsored this year by Posie Row & Co. The winner gets $1,000, a trophy for their mantle, and a feature length story in January’s issue.
It uses 3 separate juries; one to create a longlist, another to weed that down to a shortlist, and a third to crown a Local Album of the Year at a party in December, so whoever wins will have won over three separate juries consisting of local music industry professionals, and in this year’s case, even one mayoral candidate.
This year’s shortlist conjures no jigs and reels, but instead features Kubasonics’ lively spin on Ukranian music, Ouroboros’ dance-inducing jazz fusion, the mellow trance of Fog Lake’s “downer pop,” the vocally driven craftsmanship of Steve Maloney’s take on the singer-songwriter genre, and predictably, everyone’s favourite local Juno winner, Amelia Curran.
All of these albums are available at Fred’s Records and would make for excellent, easy, local Christmas gifts, so don’t leave your loved ones’ car stereos empty this holiday season. If you’re curious to hear them, they’re all on Bandcamp and/or Spotify as well.
Come to the Winner Announcement Party on December 21st?
If you’d like to come to the winner announcement party, we’re giving away 50 tickets (as in 25 winners, and winners are allowed 1 guest). Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Borealis Invite.
The event will take place December 21st, from 8-10pm at The Rocket Room. There’ll be a special guest host, familiar local faces championing the shortlistees, and most of these bands will play us a song. There’ll be snacks and a cash bar, and your first pint of Quidi Vidi beer is on The Overcast. Further details TBA.
Watershed is the eighth album from a local Juno winner: it doesn’t get much more established than that. Yet Curran continues to grow her sound on Watershed; it’s a decidedly more political and rockier offering than anything from her to date.
Fog Lake has made the Borealis shortlist every year since The Overcast launched the award in 2014. Dragonchaser is marked by Aaron Powell’s uniquely mellow magic in a genre of music he’s created just for himself (Downer Pop). It might be his best and most accessible album to date.
The Kubasonics, lightheartedly dubbed “The Best Ukrainian Band in Newfoundland,” wowed crowds at the MusicNL awards this year, where they received the only standing ovation, and took home 3 trophies, including Group of the Year and The Fan’s Choice Entertainer of the Year.
Ouroborous really grabbed the bull by the horns on their sophomore effort, and pardon the second wind-instrument pun, but Kitchuses blow listeners away with 4 horn players and an amazing drummer just crushing it to create something like nothing you’ve ever danced to. And dance you will.
2015’s Borealis Music Prize runner-up, and MusicNL’s 2017 Songwriter of the Year is back with stunning sophistication on The Memory Game. Produced by the legend Joshua Van Tassell, this album is a winner no matter the Borealis outcome.