SAY Award: 2020 Longlist revealed

The twenty albums on the longlist for this year's SAY Award are an exciting and multi-layered snapshot of modern Scottish music

Article by Peter Simpson | 17 Sep 2020

The twenty album longlist for this year's Scottish Album of the Year Award (SAY Award) has been revealed, and it's a typically broad and intriguing mix of records from across Scotland's many interwoven music scenes.

Musically, this list has a bit of everything. There's plenty of electronic sounds on display, from Mercury nominee Anna Meredith to Blanck Mass and Free Love. There are moody, atmospheric offerings from Erland Cooper, Callum Easter and SHHE; there's grimey, energetic rap from NOVA; there's plenty of riffs from the likes of Sacred Paws, The Ninth Wave and Honeyblood. There's also a diversity to the people behind those albums, with a mixture of new and established artists and a refreshing range of backgrounds and personal perspectives among the nominees. Read the full longlist at the foot of the page.

The next step is for you – yes, you! – to get involved. A public vote will open on 5 Oct, and the album with the most votes gets an automatic place on the shortlist. The ten shortlisted albums then go in front of this year's judging panel, with the winner of the 2020 SAY Award announced on 29 Oct. 

Quotes from SAY Award Longlist nominees

Comfort, nominated for Not Passing: “It’s great to be recognised by SAY at a time in which blatant transphobia exists within our government and mainstream media. Our 'modern' Scotland has yet to legally recognise non-binary people and it is vital that queer voices be amplified during times like these. The ferocity of our record matches our determination, we feel it is important for Not Passing to be recognised by the mainstream as we firmly believe our message must be heard. Bigotry is given a home under its many guises and it must be resisted at every chance.”

Blanck Mass, nominated for Animated Violence Mild: "I am truly honoured to be considered for The SAY Award and to be Longlisted. Animated Violence Mild was created at a time of great personal turbulence and it feels extremely cathartic to have been able to share it with everyone. Thank you for listening.”

The Ninth Wave, nominated for Infancy: “When making Infancy, The SAY Award was always in the backs of our minds. With some of our biggest inspirations having won in the past, the thought of being up there among those names was ever-present, wondering if people will be as inspired by your album as you have been by theirs. We make music to connect to people on a personal level, and the fact that so many people thought of us when nominating their favourite Scottish Album of the Year makes us feel like maybe we’re doing our jobs right. Scotland has such a wealth of talent and we are so proud to be part of this powerful scene.”

The SAY Award 2020 Longlist

Anna Meredith – FIBS
Blanck Mass – Animated Violence Mild
Bossy Love – Me + U
Callum Easter – Here Or Nowhere
Cloth – Cloth
Comfort – Not Passing
Declan Welsh & The Decadent West – Cheaply Bought, Expensively Sold
Elephant Sessions – What Makes You
Erland Cooper – Sule Skerry
Fat-Suit – Waifs & Strays
Free Love – Extreme Dance Anthems
Honeyblood – In Plain Sight
Karine Polwart – Karine Polwart's Scottish Songbook
Lewis Capaldi – Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent
Mezcla – Shoot the Moon
The Ninth Wave – Infancy
Sacred Paws – Run Around The Sun
Vistas – Everything Changes In The End