Caribou takes home Polaris Music Prize 2008

Dan Snaith aka Caribou holding something scientific
Dan Snaith aka Caribou holding something scientific

A caribou is a wild reindeer found in North America. It's also the name of British/Canadian Dan Snaith's jingling, electronic outfit and the winner of 2008's Polaris Music Prize - Canada's equivalent to the Mercurys.

Caribou was honoured for 2007's LP Andorra, apparently written and recorded in a bedroom studio in Islington, London.

Music critic Mike Doherty - part of 2007's 11-member Polaris grand jury - told the National Post about how last year's winner, Patrick Watson, was determined: "I looked forward to volatile arguments punctuated by fists hitting tables. Instead, our subdued, sober group politely agreed to disagree."

"The situation was stereotypically Canadian, not just because of our collective meekness, but also because of the concern with representation that brought us together in the first place."

The Guardian raises the point that if Polaris continue to choose "safe", "likable" acts, "people will start to get bored and tune out", thus having a negative effect on boosting the winners' profile. A quick glance through 2008's short-list, and - apart from the wonderfully-named Holy Fuck - we're not actually sure how Polaris could have been more edgy?

It's good to see some electronica taking home the $20,000 (CAD) prize, unlike highly-tipped dubstep hero Burial, who controversially missed out to Elbow at the 2008 Mercury Music Prize.

Tom Porter worked on MusicRadar from its mid-2007 launch date to 2011, covering a range of music and music making topics, across features, gear news, reviews, interviews and more. A regular NAMM-goer back in the day, Tom now resides permanently in Los Angeles, where he's doing rather well at the Internet Movie Database (IMDB).