Six years after being named a Critic’s New Discovery of the Year in the 2017 Penguin Eggs Critics’ Poll, heart-stirring singer-songwriter William Prince has come out on top, earning the 2023 Critics’ Album of the Year designation for his fourth album, Stand in the Joy.
William’s tender baritone, his moving songs, and his intimate delivery – which can leave the listener feeling like he’s in the room singing straight to us – have made him a powerhouse presence on the Canadian roots scene ever since the release of his Juno-winning debut, Earthly Days, in 2015.
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He followed up Earthly Days in 2020 with not one album, but two: Reliever, which was nominated for a second Juno and earned William the Canadian Folk Music Award for English Songwriter of the Year – and the gorgeous country gospel album Gospel First Nation.
William’s body of work has been so consistently brilliant that it was only a matter of time until he topped this poll, and we’re beyond thrilled to announce that he’s this year’s winner.
About the critics’ poll:
Every year for 20 years, Penguin Eggs magazine invited music journalists, radio hosts, folk club and folk festival artistic directors and other “taste makers” in our genres to send in their top 10 albums of the year and their favourite new discoveries.
The magazine gave artists a point for each list they appeared on and tallied them up to get a final Top 10. It also published the top three new discoveries.
Penguin Eggs ceased publishing in 2021, but this annual tradition continues here at Roots Music Canada with publisher Roddy Campbell’s blessing.