2019 SAY Award Longlist Announced

We take a closer look at the 20 albums longlisted for this year's Scottish Album of the Year Award

Feature by Tallah Brash | 26 Jul 2019

The Scottish Album of the Year Award has, in a relatively short time, become an institution in Scottish music, continuously putting the likes of the Brits and Mercury Prize to shame. The award celebrates all corners of the Scottish music scene with a £20,000 grand prize available to the winner, and £1000 going to each of the nine runners up who make up the shortlist of just ten acts.

Now in its eighth year, after a record number of 293 album submissions this year’s longlist is another fine selection representing a true cross section of what’s going on in Scotland’s ever-vibrant music scene, proudly taking in everything from rock and pipe music via classical, electronica, trad, jazz, folk, dance and pop. Needless to say it's going to be another tough year for the judging panel. In alphabetical order, we're delighted to share with you the 20 albums on this year's longlist.

Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert – Here Lies the Body
[Rock Action, 11 May 2018]
Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert are no strangers to the SAY Award, Moffat winning the inaugural award for Everything’s Getting Older alongside Bill Wells and Hubby winning in 2013 for Thirteen Lost & Found. Maybe they can pick up the award together in 2019?

Aidan O’Rourke – 365: Volume One
[Reveal Records, 25 May 2018]
With two previous SAY Award shortlisted albums with his band Lau, 365: Volume One sees Aidan O’Rourke, the former BBC Radio 2 Folk Musician of the Year, claim his first longlist inclusion as a solo artist.

Andrew Wasylyk – The Paralian
[Athens of the North, 1 Feb 2019]
Andrew Mitchell’s third album as Andrew Wasylyk, The Paralian came to light following a commission to create new music for a restored 19th century Erard Grecian harp. In turn this has now led to Mitchell's first SAY Award longlist spot as a solo artist.

Auntie FloRadio Highlife
[Brownswood Recordings, 12 Oct 2018]
The moniker of the Glasgow producer Brian d’Souza, Auntie Flo received past recognition from the SAY Award in 2013 and 2016 for Future Rhythm Machine and Theory of Flo respectively. Mixing a cornucopia of worldly sounds, beats and rhythms, Radio Highlife sees him back on the longlist for another go.

Brìghde Chaimbeul – The Reeling
[River Lea Recordings, 18 Jan 2019]
Winner of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, Brìghde Chaimbeul is a piper, whistle player and pianist from the Isle of Skye. Produced by Aidan O'Rourke, her debut album The Reeling sees the young artist brought to the fore with a place on the longlist.

C Duncan – Health
[FatCat Records, 29 Mar 2019]
C Duncan’s third album is the first he didn’t record and produce himself, seeing him work with Elbow’s Craig Potter. With previous shortlist inclusion for The Architect and The Midnight Sun, could this be the year he scoops the big prize?

Carla J. Easton – Impossible Stuff
[Olive Grove Records, 5 Oct 2018]
Following a longlist nomination in 2017 for TeenCanteen’s Say It All With a Kiss, Carla J. Easton’s sugar-coated debut solo record Impossible Stuff, produced by Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire) and recorded in Montreal, sees the Glasgow artist in the spotlight once again.

CHVRCHES – Love Is Dead
[Virgin Records, 25 May 2018]
The Glasgow three-piece, comprised of Lauren Mayberry, Martin Doherty and Iain Cook, have so far failed to win the award with previous shortlistings for The Bones of What You Believe and Every Eye Open. Could 2019 be their year?

Edwyn Collins – Badbea
[AED Records, 29 Mar 2019]
The former Orange Juice frontman, and ever-prolific Edwyn Collins’ eighth studio album Understated featured on the 2014 shortlist. Following suit, follow-up album Badbea sees Collins getting recognition once again with a place on the 2019 longlist.

Fatherson – Sum of All Your Parts
[Easy Life Records, 14 Sep 2018]
Fatherson won The Skinny’s reader poll for Scottish Album of the Year in 2018 for Sum of All Your Parts, the Kilmarnock-formed band’s third album. With previous longlist inclusion for I Am An Island and Open Book, could they go all the way this time?

Fergus McCreadie Trio – Turas
[Self-released, 18 Apr 2018]
Pianist Fergus McCreadie won the award for Best Instrumentalist at the Scottish Jazz Awards aged only 20. A recent graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, his debut solo record Turas has made its way onto this year’s SAY Award longlist.

Free Love – Luxury Hits
[Full Ashram, 9 Nov 2018]
Formerly known as Happy Meals, the Glasgow duo were shortlisted for the award for 2015's Apero, and longlisted for 2017's Full Ashram Devotional Ceremony. Following a name change, could it be third time lucky for the pair as Free Love with Luxury Hits?

Graham Costello’s STRATA – OBELISK
[Bpqd Records, 1 Feb 2019]
With a jazz resurgence going on all over the UK, Graham Costello’s STRATA are pushing the boundaries of what jazz is in Scotland in 2019, and following three years in the making their debut album OBELISK has found its way onto the longlist.

Karine Polwart with Steven Polwart and Inge Thomson – Laws of Motion
[Hudson Records, 19 Oct 2018]
The multi-award winning folk singer-songwriter Karine Polwart has received two previous shortlist nominations for 2012’s Traces and 2017’s collaboration with Pippa Murphy, A Pocket Full of Wind Resistance. Can her latest collaboration see her finally claim the top spot?

Kathryn Joseph – From When I Wake the Want Is
[Rock Action, 10 Aug 2018]
Kathryn Joseph won the award in 2015 for Bones You Have Thrown Me, And Blood I’ve Spilled and 2019 sees the singer-songwriter in with a chance of doing the double with longlist inclusion for her stunning second album From When I Wake the Want Is.

Kinnaris Quintet – Free One
[Self-released, 20 Sep 2018]
Formed in 2017, the Kinnaris Quintet are an all female group combining Scottish and Irish folk music with bluegrass and classical. As their star continues to rise, their debut album has now landed them with a spot on this year's longlist.

Mastersystem – Dance Music
[Physical Education Recordings, 6 Apr 2018]
In a month where Frightened Rabbit’s The Midnight Organ Fight turned ten, Scott and Grant Hutchison released Dance Music, their debut album as Mastersystem alongside friends, and brothers, Justin and James Lockey. Gaining a place on the 2019 longlist, this will be a bittersweet win if it goes all the way.

NiteworksAir Fàir an Là
[Comann Music, 17 Aug 2018]
With influences as disparate as the Peatbog Faeries and Apparat, Skye's Celtic/electronic hybrid band Niteworks' second album Air Fàir an Là has won the four-piece a place on this year's longlist.

Sean Shibe – softLOUD
[Delphian, 22 Sep 2018]
softLOUD is the second studio album from Edinburgh classical guitarist Sean Shibe, and with an impressive number of accolades already under his belt if it takes the judges’ fancy it could be the first classical guitar album to win the coveted award.

[Rock Action, 18 Jan 2019]
With previous inclusion on the SAY Award shortlist in 2013 for No One Can Ever Know, and longlist in 2015 for Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave, could their fifth album IT WON/T BE LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME be the one that finally seals the deal?

The winner of the 2019 SAY Award will be announced in a ceremony at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, 6 Sep