Edmonton Music Prize Long List Announced
March 11, 2021
The Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA) and Alberta Music, in collaboration with the Edmonton Arts Council, are pleased to announce the 2020 Edmonton Film Prize Short List & Edmonton Music Prize Long List.
This is the ninth year that the Edmonton Music Prize has been offered, and it awards $12,000 in prize money to Edmonton-based musicians or musical collectives who have released a full-length recording in the past 18 months. The award is sponsored by the City of Edmonton through the Edmonton Arts Council and administered by Alberta Music.
Alberta Music assembled a jury of industry professionals, who reviewed the 27 nominations that were submitted and selected from among them a long list of 10 artists. From this list, the jury will be selecting the 3 finalists who will receive prize money and be recognized by the Edmonton music community. In addition to the primary assessment of the musical component, the jury also takes into consideration how the artists have made a unique contribution to the city. The top 3 finalists will be announced on March 22nd and the winner will be announced virtually on March 22nd fromThe Starlite Room and broadcast on Alberta Music’s Facebook page.
Edmonton Music Prize jury member noted that, “After a year of next to no concerts, it was a joy to meet virtually to select this year’s short list. Discussions were spirited – we were impressed by the vibrancy and vision of Edmonton’s artists.”
Edmonton Arts Council Executive Director, Sanjay Shahani says “This year’s nominees demonstrate the rich diversity of form, genre and style of Edmonton’s music and film communities. All the nominees show great dedication to their artistic practice during a time of uncertainty and disruption and this list captures the creativity, resilience, and innovation present in their works – they are a source of inspiration and hope for us – and continue to demonstrate the positive impact of the arts on our city. The scope and scale of works created by these shortlisted artists are helping to build an Edmonton that is a vibrant hub for extraordinary creation and reputation.”
The first place winner will take home $10,000, and two runner-up prizes of $1,000 each will be awarded. The three finalists will be announced virtually on March 22nd.
This year’s Edmonton Music Prize Long List, (in alphabetical order) are:
Bad Buddy – “Bad Buddy”
Bad Buddy is a foursome making fearsome rock tunes. They’re scrappy as hell and riled up with primal riffs, gang vocals and a whole lotta snarl. Expect a little bit of surf, a dash of Motown and plenty of rip. Bad Buddy is Emily Bachynski, Geoffrey O’Brien, Andi Vissia & Alex Vissia.
Beppie – “Song Soup”
After a Juno nomination in 2019, Beppie headed straight into the studio to begin work on her next album “Song Soup”. This album, and Beppie’s entire approach, is a fresh take on children’s music from what we’ve all been hearing for many years now. Blending the sounds you would expect from mainstream music with concepts and stories appealing to younger audiences. In October 2019, “Song Soup” was released into the world and received with enthusiasm. Nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award in 2020, Song Soup continues to gain traction amongst listeners. Beppie was chosen to represent Edmonton at a national children’s music conference (Kindiecomm) in Philadelphia. She received a grant from the Edmonton Art’s Council to attend the conference in 2021. Regularly working with the Edmonton Public Library, Beppie brings her music and her songwriting knowledge to the children of Edmonton through workshops and concerts. A dedicated music educator, Beppie has been teaching for more than 20 years and continues to share her love for the arts with students of all ages.
Farhad Khosravi – “Mosafer”
Farhad is an Edmonton-based composer and santur player. He has been described by the Calgary Herald as “ … A fine instrumentalist who is musical in every way, it was a pleasure to hear his work, combining fine improvisational qualities with his command of the instrumentally attractive, melodically alluring sounds of his santur.”
Farhad received both Alberta Foundation for the Arts and Edmonton Arts Council grants in 2018 to record his sophomore album titled “Mosàfer” – A santur and percussion duo that translates some of the deepest existential Persian poetries into instrumental music. This album is set to release in summer 2020. In this work, Farhad has explored sounds and textures through experimenting with different techniques and effects on his instrument, the santur, and on percussion played by Daniel Stadnicki. Farhad and Daniel have performed multiple times together as a duo and in Farhad’s quintet.
Joe Nolan – “Drifters”
While it’s not every day that a songwriter makes it from the shadows of open mic nights to the high wattage, real deal scene, Joe Nolan’s old soul lyrics and striking vocals suggest that the odds of breaking through are in his favour.
Joe Nolan’s distinctive and intimate vocals stack the deck. From theramin tremors to raw howls, his range of expression reaches extremes. He delivers bandaged fragility and raw rage with equal impact. The songs are fervent, pressing and intense, attuned at once to the world of youthful melodramas in which Joe, an artist in his early 20s lives, and an older, deeper level of human experience. Insight into the latter has nothing to do with age.
Lucette – “Deluxe Hotel Room”
Lucette is the moniker of Canadian artist Lauren Gillis, a soulful and emotive singer who self-describes her music as “country infused dream-pop”. Her two albums vary from dark folk and southern gothic tales to what Rolling Stone describes as “a bold expansion of Lucette’s melodic sensibilities…that avoid the rootsy clichés of Americana music.”
Lyra Brown – “Tin Girl”
Lyra’s music is an eclectic blend of indie-pop and piano whimsy, focusing on compelling, surreal lyrics. After releasing a series of home recordings, Lyra would enter the studio to record her debut record, The Language of Eyes, in early 2015. By the end of the year, the album would finish at #7 on the CJSR Radio top 300 albums of 2015, and Lyra would garner four award nominations at the 2016 Edmonton Music Awards.
The next few years would prove fruitful as Lyra would release her most popular song to date, A Little Vulture Told Me, accompanied by a continuous shot pop-up video for the song. She would go on to win in three categories at the 2018 Edmonton Music Awards: Music Video of the Year, Adult Alternative Recording of the Year, and Singer/Songwriter of the Year, and the vulture video would continue its success by winning best music video at the 2018 Alberta Film & Television Rosie Awards.
In late 2020, Lyra released her sophomore record, Tin Girl. An album of unique musical style and poetic expression, giving the listener new insight into her world
Mac MillOn – “Just Touched Road”
Mac MillOn works closely with Edmonton music scene as a producer and gives a voice to artists in Canada via his podcast outlets. Mac Millon has over 1 Million combined streams with artists like Deuce Fantastick from Edmonton and Mezziah from Toronto. This particular body of work is the most cohesive and quality album to ever come out of Edmonton musically. It also boasts the story of a young Mac growing up in Toronto and transitioning out west.
Marlaena Moore – “Pay Attention, Be Amazed!”
On her third record, Pay Attention! Be Amazed!, the 26 year-old musician does indeed shift her perspective in different ways. With the help of Chris Dadge and Chad VanGaalen on production and a crew of musical artists Moore calls “unbelievable human beings with ungodly talent,” Moore’s newest full-length record fills out and strengthens the sound she has been building for years, while simultaneously gesturing at where her work can grow.
Pay Attention! Be Amazed! has familiar themes that appear in Moore’s earlier work. Moore says her first two records displayed a specific sense of yearning. “Everything I was writing was really about the yearning and desire for finding love,” she says. ”I feel like the thing that weaves everything together on this latest record is what happens when you are there. You have found this relationship and it’s like it’s the reality of the fantasy of the relationship that you’ve always wanted.” But, in the end, it’s a relationship doomed.
Nuela Charles – “Melt”
Nuela Charles is an alternative soul singer/songwriter based in Edmonton, Canada, known for her soulful vocals and captivating stage presence. Noted as “one to watch” by the legendary SoulTrain.com, Nuela has become an indie synch darling, landing 11 TV placements off of her debut album “Aware” alone!
Cited by the U.K.’s Metro publication as “cocked, locked and ready to be shot onto the world stage with a soulful voice that may one day fill the Amy Winehouse-shaped holes in everyone’s hearts,” Nuela has brought her distinct voice to various stages across North America.
The lead single “Crumbling Down” from her sophomore 2018 Juno Award nominated album “The Grand Hustle,” landed Nuela a nod from pop culture staple FADER.com, and spread nationwide as it landed on the CBC Radio 2 Top 20 charts for seven weeks straight. Adding another four (4) TV synchs to her name, notably on ESPN and the CW’s hit show “Jane The Virgin,” Charles is ready to release more of her fiery brand of cinematic soul.
100 Mile House – “Love and Leave You”
100 mile house are the Edmonton-based husband and wife folk duo Peter Stone and Denise MacKay. They seem naturally attuned to life’s impermanence; the reality that we must cherish what we have, while knowing we must eventually let it go.
Made at Edmonton’s Riverdale Recorders with Scott Franchuk (Corb Lund, Del Barber, Scenic Route to Alaska) and a host of guests ranging from JUNO nominee Chloe Albert to a heart-swelling string section, Love and Leave You builds on the themes of 2016’s Hiraeth, which earned 100 mile house a Western Canadian Music Award for Roots Duo/Group of the Year, and a Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for Ensemble of the Year.
Their previous release, Hiraeth, was named after a Welsh word that loosely translates as a longing for a place or person who may never have existed. Stone and MacKay used this concept to explore some of the darkest corners of their lives. On Love and Leave You they have emerged—stronger, wiser, and more honest than ever before.