07/14/2016 18:08 EDT | Updated 07/15/2017 01:12 EDT

B.C. women leading the charge for 2016 Polaris Prize

The shortlist for the 2016 Polaris Music Prize has been announced — and that list is dominated by women from B.C.

Of the 10 acts nominated, four hail from the Lower Mainland. All are either solo projects of, or bands fronted by, women.


Vancouver-born Grimes got the nod for her 2015 album Art Angels, the successful follow-up to her breakout 2012 album, Visions. Both albums received international critical acclaim.

Grimes, born Claire Elise Boucher, started making electronic music during her undergraduate degree at McGill in Montreal. She made her way back to B.C. in 2013, living in Squamish for a short time to recover from the grueling touring schedule in support of Visions. Several songs on Art Angels were recorded during that time, including the single "REALiti."

Carly Rae Jepsen

Carly Rae Jepsen was born and raised in Mission. Her 2015 album, Emotion, shortlisted for the prize, spawned the hit song "I Really Like You," the video for which features a lip-syncing Tom Hanks.

Jepsen first saw mainstream success during the 2007 season of Canadian Idol, in which she placed third. Her 2012 song "Call Me Maybe" was a massive radio hit, reaching number one in 18 countries and making her an international pop star.

White Lung

Vancouver punk rock band White Lung has been earning praise for its fourth album, 2016's Paradise. Critics have described it as a sort of "coming of age" for the band, who have gone from playing small Vancouver venues to touring North America and Europe in just a few short years.

Notably at the fore of the record are the vocals of frontwoman Mish Barber-Way. Drums are provided by Anne-Marie Vassiliou, and Lindsey Troy tours with the band on bass. Kenneth William plays guitar.

Black Mountain

Black Mountain, which calls Vancouver home, have found its 2016 album, IV, on the list. Despite the name, it's actually the band's fifth full-length release.

The album has a nostalgic sort of sound reminiscent of classic rock and metal bands like Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath — as sung by Amber Webber, who shares vocal duties with guitarist Stephen McBean.

The winner of the 2016 Polaris Music Prize will be announced on Sept. 19. The winning artist receives a $50,000 prize, and all other nominees receive $3,000. Past winners include Buffy Sainte-Marie, Tanya Tagaq and Feist.