Scottish Album of the Year Award announced Longlist

Scotland's national music prize, the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award, has officially announced the twenty outstanding Scottish albums which have made it onto this year's coveted Longlist!

Scottish Album of the Year Award announced Longlist

Article Source: SAY Award
First Published: 17 September 2021 14:26
Updated: 17 September 2021 14:26

Whittled down from 327 eligible albums by 100 impartial music industry Nominators, all twenty albums were released during the COVID-19 pandemic, amidst huge turmoil for the music industry, making it an even more extraordinary feat for each and every artist.

In alphabetical order, The SAY Award Longlist for 2021 is as follows:

AiiTee – 'Love Don't Fall'
Andrew Wasylyk – 'Fugitive Light And Themes Of Consolation'
Arab Strap – 'As Days Get Dark'
Bemz – 'Saint of Lost Causes'
Biffy Clyro – 'A Celebration of Endings'
Carla J. Easton – 'WEIRDO'
Erland Cooper – 'Landform (Feat. Marta Salogni)'
Fergus McCreadie – 'Cairn'
Jenny Sturgeon – 'The Living Mountain'
Joesef – 'Does It Make You Feel Good?'
Kübler Ross – 'Kübler Ross'
Lizzie Reid – 'Cubicle'
Matt Carmichael – 'Where Will the River Flow'
Mogwai – 'As The Love Continues'
Paul Towndrow – 'Deepening The River'
Rachel Newton – 'To The Awe'
Stanley Odd – 'STAY ODD'
TAAHLIAH – 'Angelica'
The Ninth Wave – 'Happy Days!'
The Snuts – 'W.L.'

Robert Kilpatrick, Creative Projects and Communications Director at the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) said: “Each year, the announcement of the 20-strong SAY Award Longlist provides an important focal point to both reflect on and celebrate the strength and diversity of Scotland’s recorded output; recognising the impact that music has on our lives and in driving our ever-evolving cultural identity as a nation.

“With each of this year’s Longlisted albums having been released throughout the pandemic, that reflection sees a new depth, and “strength” in the context of 2021 embodies much more than artistic merit – it’s underpinned by resilience, passion and endurance throughout challenges that our artists and music industry in particular have sorely felt.

“Music’s power often comes from its ability to tap into inner parts of ourselves; inspiring us, comforting us and ultimately helping us better understand both ourselves and each other. It brings us together, and at a time of mass uncertainty and turbulence where we’ve had to be apart, never has its intrinsic power felt more special and important.

“With a massive congratulations to 2021’s Longlist also comes a thank you – to the artists and their teams for providing escape, connection and outstanding bodies of work at a time when we’ve never needed them more. We can’t wait to celebrate these records – and ten years of SAY – at this year’s ceremony; our biggest to date, and what will undoubtedly be an incredible night to remember for artists, industry and music fans alike.”


Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland said: “If you need proof that the Scottish music scene is emerging strong and defiant from months of lockdown, then look no further than this year’s SAY Award Longlist. With three Official UK Charts No1 albums, an explosion of diversity from some stars of tomorrow and positive recognition of our flourishing grassroots jazz scene, 2021’s contenders make a bold statement about the energy that fuels the music Scotland has to offer and the strength of our creative voice.”

The SAY Award Longlist is the product of an extraordinary nationwide consultation; encapsulating the strength and diversity of Scotland’s music scene.

This year, 327 album submissions, all released during the pandemic, were narrowed down to the 20-strong Longlist by 100 impartial Nominators representing a variety of genres including jazz, classical, hip-hop, pop, trad folk, rock, electronic, indie and many more. The newly announced Longlist will now be whittled down to a final 10 albums to make up this year’s Shortlist, one of which can be chosen by music fans in a 72-hour online public vote. From 27th – 29th September, music fans have the chance to ensure their favourite album from the Longlist makes it onto the Shortlist by voting at www.sayaward.com, with the remaining 9 albums chosen by an esteemed judging panel.

This year’s SAY Award judging panel includes the likes of Ian Rankin (Author), Jackie Kay (Poet), Daniel Portman (Actor) and Ashely Storrie (Comedian), as well as Tim Burgess (Musician, The Charlatans), whose “Tim’s Twitter Listening Parties” sound tracked the UK’s lockdown for many by bringing artists and audiences together to listen, discuss and celebrate albums both past and present.

The winner of The SAY Award will collect £20,000 – one of the most lucrative prize funds in the UK – while all nine runners-up will be awarded £1,000 and their own bespoke award. Following a digital edition in 2020, the event returns as a physical ceremony, welcoming guests to Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on Saturday 23rd October. For the first time since the award’s inception, music fans are able to join the celebrations and purchase tickets to attend one of the most exciting nights in Scotland’s musical calendar. This year’s Ceremony (marking the award’s 10th birthday) will celebrate the strength and diversity of Scottish music; past, present and future. The event will recognise 2021’s Nominees and feature special one-of-a-kind live performances, along with the exclusive reveal of 2021’s Scottish Album of the Year. To date, The SAY Award has distributed over £232,000 in prize money across nine previous campaigns, with 2021 set to be another stellar year in showcasing the best of Scotland’s world-renowned musical talent.

2021 has also seen the introduction of two new awards for SAY’s tenth year, with the ‘Modern Scottish Classic Award’ and ‘Sound of Young Scotland Award’. This year’s Longlist will choose the winner of the ‘Modern Scottish Classic Award’, recognising an iconic Scottish album which has inspired music being made today with a special performance at the Ceremony to celebrate the winning album. Additionally, a panel of previous SAY Award nominees including Kobi Onyame, Sacred Paws, SHHE and more, will choose the winner of ‘The Sound of Young Scotland Award’, with the winner receiving up to £5,000 funding to facilitate the creation of their debut album, plus a showcase performance slot at The SAY Award Ceremony in 2022. Supported by Youth Music and Youth Music Initiative (Creative Scotland), The Sound of Young Scotland Award was designed to invest in Scottish music’s future and provide vital support to an emerging artist.

Developed and produced by the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), the 2021 campaign is delivered in partnership with Creative Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council, YouTube Music, Spotify, Ticketmaster and PPL with Music Declares Emergency returning as the award’s Charity Partner for a second year. With COP26 taking place in Glasgow throughout November, sustainability is at the heart of The SAY Award’s plans, and the SMIA will look to use its flagship project to demonstrate and instill best practice for the music industry both now and in the future.

Now in its tenth year, previous winners of The SAY Award include Nova ‘Re-Up’ (2020), Auntie Flo ‘Radio Highlife’ (2019), Young Fathers ‘Cocoa Sugar’ (2018), Sacred Paws ‘Strike A Match’ (2017), Anna Meredith ‘Varmints’ (2016), Kathryn Joseph ‘Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood I’ve Spilled’ (2015), Young Fathers ‘Tape Two’ (2014), RM Hubbert ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’ (2013) and the inaugural winner Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat ‘Everything’s Getting Older’ (2012).

To keep up with The SAY Award 2021 journey, make sure you follow the award on Twitter @SAYaward, Instagram @sayaward and Facebook @SAYaward

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