The seventh annual Polaris Music Prize kicked off yesterday (June 14) with the announcement of its "Long List" of nominees -- an eclectic bunch that included artists both new (Cold Specks), old (Leonard Cohen) and in between (Feist).

Issued by Polaris, a non-profit organization whose stated purpose is to "honour, celebrate and reward creativity and diversity in Canadian recorded music," the Music Prize pays tribute to "albums of the highest artistic integrity, without regard to musical genre, professional affiliation, or sales history" throughout the Canadian music industry.

As a result, while some of the nominees are well-known to American listeners (e.g. Drake and Leonard Cohen), many are newer artists who have either enjoyed Stateside blog buzz (Handsome Furs, the Barr Brothers, Cadence Weapon) or are still waiting to break through.

All in all, this year's Long List offers an intriguing blend of genres and styles for the adventurous listener, curated by Polaris' "selected music journalists, broadcasters and bloggers." Take a look at the complete list of nominees below, and head over to the streaming service of your choice to examine their latest albums for yourself. On July 17, this list will be narrowed to a 10-member Short List, with the winner taking home the Polaris Music Prize -- and $30,000 -- on Sept. 24.

2012 Polaris Music Prize Long List:

A Tribe Called Red, 'A Tribe Called Red'
Marie-Pierre Arthur, 'Aux Alentours'
Rich Aucoin, 'We're All Dying to Live'
Avec pas d'casque, 'Astronomie'
Azari & III, 'Azari and III'
Bahamas, 'Barchords'
The Barr Brothers, 'The Barr Brothers'
Blackie And The Rodeo Kings, 'Kings and Queens'
Cadence Weapon, 'Hope in Dirt City'
Kathryn Calder, 'Bright and Vivid'
Cannon Bros., 'Firecracker/Cloudglow'
Coeur De Pirate, 'Blonde'
Leonard Cohen, 'Old Ideas'
Cold Specks, 'I Predict a Graceful Expulsion'
Rose Cousins, 'We Have Made a Spark'
Mark Davis, 'Eliminate the Toxins'
Drake, 'Take Care'
Kathleen Edwards, 'Voyageur'
Feist, 'Metals'
F---ed Up, 'David Comes to Life'
Great Lake Swimmers, 'New Wild Everywhere'
Grimes, 'Visions'
Handsome Furs, 'Sound Kapital'
Japandroids, 'Celebration Rock'
Dan Mangan, 'Oh Fortune'
Mares of Thrace, 'The Pilgrimage'
Ariane Moffatt, 'MA'
Lindi Ortega, 'Little Red Boots'
Parlovr, 'Kook Soul'
Sandro Perri, 'Impossible Spaces'
Joel Plaskett Emergency, 'Scrappy Happiness'
PS I Love You, 'Death Dreams'
John K. Samson, 'Provincial'
Shooting Guns, 'Born To Deal in Magic 1952-1976'
The Slakadeliqs, 'The Other Side of Tomorrow'
Patrick Watson, 'Adventures in Your Own Backyard'
Bry Webb, 'Provider'
The Weeknd, 'Echoes of Silence'
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, 'YT//ST'
Yukon Blonde, 'Tiger Talk'