From the welcoming bars of “Strangers,” there’s an infectious spirit of exploration and celebration in loss on Charlotte Day Wilson’s 2022 Polaris Music Prize Short List nominated album, Alpha.
Although the lyrics would have one believe Day Wilson is in mourning for a lost love, smooth, sultry beats combined with Day Wilson’s tender words towards a would-be-lover take the listener through a bright and comforting dreamscape. Songs like “If I Could,” “Lovesick Utopia,” and “Keep Moving” have that certain feeling of sadness, but never is it spiteful or unremorseful. Nothing but an appreciation of the hidden beauty of loss.
Joining Day Wilson on Alpha are invaluable guest appearances by alternative hip-hop artist Syd, who adds an extra layer of emotion to “Take Care of You,” celebrated Toronto instrumental collective, BadBadNotGood, who bring their jazz-influenced beats to “I Can Only Whisper,” and Toronto hitmaker, Daniel Caesar, who is spotlighted on the 30-second “Danny’s Interlude.”
Alpha is Charlotte Day Wilson’s strong and formidable debut onto the Canadian contemporary R&B scene. But does it have what it takes to win the 2022 Polaris Music Prize? Tune in on September 19 to CBC Gem, CBC Music’s Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter pages, and globally at cbcmusic.ca/polaris at 8:00 p.m. ET. to learn the winner live from Toronto’s Carlu. General admission tickets to the gala are on sale right now via Ticketmaster.
Born and raised with thoughts and aspirations of becoming a famous bassist in Sarnia, ON; Emily Plunkett now lives in Gatineau, QC, and considers National Capital Region home sweet home. A product of the Beatles, MuchMusic and the Southwestern Ontario summer festival circuit (circa 2000), her interest and love in concert photography came almost completely by accident when her journalism program at Algonquin College required courses in photojournalism (and she quickly realized that photos taken at concerts using a DSLR are enormously better than ones she was taking on a point-and-shoot she bought for a trip to England). She is extremely proud of the fact she has seen Sloan in some form or another 25 times.