MAC DeMarco (Salad Days), Basia Bulat (Tall Tall Shadow), Jessy Lanza (Pull My Hair Back) and Shad (Flying Colours) also make the shortlist, alongside releases from Owen Pallett, Shad, Tanya Tagaq, Timber Timbre and Yamantaka/Sonic Titan.
The winner will be chosen by a panel of media professionals and unveiled on 22 September (14).
Arcade Fire previously walked away with the 2011 trophy and the accompanying $30,000 (£17,647) cheque for their 2010 album, The Suburbs.
Rockers Godspeed You! Black Emperor landed the award last year (13) for their comeback record Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!, but snubbed the prizegiving and criticised organisers for throwing such a costly corporate-sponsored show "during a time of austerity".