Godspeed You! Black Emperor‘s first studio album in a decade has won Canada’s answer to the Mercury Music Prize

Since 2006, the Polaris Music Prize ceremony has cerebrated the best albums produced by Canadian artists; previous winners include Caribou, Arcade Fire, Final Fantasy and 2012 winner Feist. The 2013 ceremony took place last night in Toronto, with the 11-member jury plumping for the Montreal veterans’ widescreen Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! 

The band plan to give their $30,000 winnings to projects working with musical instruments and education in the Quebec prison system. GY!BE weren’t present to pick up the award, but Constellations Records boss Ian Ilavsky accepted the prize in their absence. His speech is below:

“I have know the band for almost 20 years — they’ve been at it for almost 20 years — and I do know that they want to strongly and unequivocally thank everybody involved in the voting and judging process of Polaris: writers, critics, bloggers, promoters, programmers, radio DJs, and music-makers, label people, industry people, who care about independent music and who think that independent music still has a promise to do something in terms of its choices and its structures and its methods that is counter to the mainstream, not only in the kind of music that we all support, but in the ways that we go about bringing it to people, how we bring it to the marketplace and so forth.

“So any of you that know about Godspeed know the choices that they have mostly made and have remained relatively silent about. So Godspeed thanks those people that keep caring about music and writing about it and championing it on those terms and hope that that continues to be part of the conversation and the cultural consciousness we’re all trying to build, by being committed and devoted to independent music, and independent means of production.

The full list of nominees is below; particular commiserations to FACT favourites Purity Ring and Colin Stetson. Last week, a long-lost GY!BE cassette album, All Lights Fucked On The Hairy Amp Droolingostensibly came to light. [via Exclaim]

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
Zaki Ibrahim – Every Opposite
Metric – Synthetica
Purity Ring – Shrines
Colin Stetson – New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light
Tegan And Sara – Heartthrob
A Tribe Called Red – Nation II Nation
Whitehorse – The Fate Of The World Depends On This Kiss
Young Galaxy – Ultramarine

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