Scottish Album of the Year Award: The 2019 shortlist

A host of artists, including Kathryn Joseph, C Duncan and Karine Polwart, return to the shortlist for another crack at winning the Scottish Album of the Year Award

Article by Tallah Brash | 15 Aug 2019
  • Kathryn Joseph, SAY Award Winner 2015

With the 2019 Scottish Album of the Year Award firmly within sight, the ten albums to make this year’s shortlist were revealed tonight by BBC Radio Scotland power couple Nicola Meighan and Vic Galloway live on air as part of a special SAY Award broadcast.

Earlier in the day this year’s judging panel, made up of 11 tastemakers from across the creative industries, met to discuss this year's previously announced 20 longlisted albums, eventually agreeing on the ten they deemed most worthy of a spot on the shortlist. Most of the artists making up this year's ten-strong shortlist are no stranger to the SAY Award.

Kathryn Joseph’s second album, From When I Wake the Want Is, sees the Glasgow-based singer-songwriter (who won the award in 2015 for her debut album Bones You Have Thrown Me, And Blood I Have Spilled) in with a chance of doing a double previously only achieved by Young Fathers.

Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert, both previous recipients of the much lauded prize, are also back in the running with their joint effort Here Lies the Body, while C Duncan and Karine Polwart both return to the shortlist for a third time with Health and Laws of Motion respectively.

Flying the flag for producers this year is Auntie Flo for his latest album Radio Highlife. It’s the third album Brian D'Souza has released which has received recognition from The SAY Award, following nominations for Future Rhythm Machine in 2013 and Theory of Flo in 2016, and the second time he’s been shortlisted.

Also returning to the shortlist for a second time are Suzanne and Lewis Cook, aka Free Love. “We are extremely honoured to have Luxury Hits included in this year's SAY Award,” they said. “A lot of love and energy went into this record which was recorded at home. We would like to dedicate this nomination to our neighbour Ed who told us that he actually studied music at university and that our music was a load of shite.” The electronic duo were previously longlisted in 2018 for Full Ashram Devotional Ceremony (Volumes IV - VI) and shortlisted in 2015 for Apero, both of which they released as Happy Meals.

Appearing on previous SAY Award longlists for releases with Idlewild and TeenCanteen respectively, Andrew Wasylyk and Carla J. Easton have both made it onto the shortlist for their solo releases The Paralian and Impossible Stuff. Brand-new to the award this year, Fergus McCreadieTrio’s debut solo record Turas is also in the running for the top spot.

And completing this year’s shortlist is Mastersystem’s Dance Music which, after ‘an exceedingly high number of public votes', won the 72-hour public vote which took place earlier in the week. “This album was so much fun to make and even more fun to tour,” Grant Hutchison said. “I think we all felt like teenage versions of ourselves just making noise and having a laugh.”

Each of the shortlisted albums will receive a guaranteed minimum prize of £1,000 thanks to award partner Creative Scotland, with all ten artists also receiving an exclusively designed commemorative art prize created by The SAY Award Design Commission.

“A huge congratulations to the ten albums making up The SAY Award Shortlist for 2019,” Robert Kilpatrick, General Manager of the Scottish Music Industry Association said. “This year’s Shortlist presents an incredibly exciting and eclectic snapshot of the strength of Scotland’s recorded output, and we’re delighted to celebrate, promote and reward the incredible works of Scottish artists as we approach this year’s ceremony at The Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh.

“Best of luck to each of the Shortlisted albums. It’s with great pride that through The SAY Award we can shine a light on truly incredible pieces of artistic works that play a key part in our cultural identity as a nation.”

The SAY Award ceremony takes place on 6 Sep at Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh. The full shortlist is below. For more information, head to:

The SAY Award 2019 shortlist is as follows (in alphabetical order):

Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert – Here Lies the Body
Andrew Wasylyk – The Paralian
Auntie Flo – Radio Highlife
C Duncan – Health
Carla J. Easton – Impossible Stuff
Fergus McCreadie Trio – Turas
Free Love – Luxury Hits
Karine Polwart with Steven Polwart & Inge Thomson – Laws of Motion
Kathryn Joseph – From When I Wake the Want Is
Mastersystem – Dance Music