The field of nominees for this year’s Polaris Music Prize includes heavyweights Gord Downie, Leslie Feist and Leonard Cohen, but a dark horse looms on the fringes. She is Lido Pimienta, a Colombian-born, Toronto-based musician whose striking 2016 record La Papessa translates to “High Priestess.” To fortune tellers, the high-priestess card in a tarot deck represents calmness and wisdom. Pimienta has said the album is all about “getting ready for war, with love{}”

How can one say “badass” in Spanish?

Pimienta’s Spanish-language LP is unstoppable electronic art-pop, marked by an elegant type of fierceness — her exotic sound a beautiful suit of armour; her voice, a penetrating wail. The third of nine tunes, Quiero Que Te Vaya Bien (I Want You to Do Well) marches into a rat-a-tat military snare drum. “I feel and expect respect,” Pimienta sings in her native tongue. “You to be admired.”

On La Capacidad (You Can), she struggles patriarchal notions:

I was not born to cook for you or give you kids

I was not born to fit into no hetero normative soap opera

I was not born to put worldwide feminism back

High priestess? The kids now say “queen{}” Do not be surprised if Pimienta is the last one position — in the Polaris gala, and elsewhere.

Lido Pimienta and fellow nominees Lisa LeBlanc, Tanya Tagaq, Leif Vollebekk and Weaves are scheduled to play in the Polaris Music Prize Gala, Sept. 18, 8 p.m., $73.45, The Carlu, 444 Yonge St., 855-985-5500 or

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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