SAY Award 2018: Longlist revealed

Young Fathers, Siobhan Wilson, Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai, Blue Rose Code and Kobi Onyame are just some of the bands and artists whose records are in contention to be named Scottish Album of the Year 2018

Article by Jamie Dunn | 01 Aug 2018

The records fighting it out to be crowned Scottish Album of the Year have been unveiled tonight at King Tut’s in Glasgow. “This year’s longlist celebrates another 20 incredibly strong, diverse and important contemporary Scottish records,” says Robert Kilpatrick, the General Manager of Scottish Music Industry Association of tonight's announcement.

Among those making the longlist are previous winners Young Fathers (the Edinburgh trio’s mixtape Tape Two won in 2014), who are nominated for third album Cocoa Sugar. No stranger, too, to the SAY Award is Karine Polwart, whose fifth album Traces was nominated in 2013. She makes the longlist this year for A Pocket of Wind Resistance, her collaboration with Pippa Murphy. “For me, the SAY Award longlist is a brilliant way to discover new music made in Scotland,” says Polwart. “I fall in love with new artists every year as a result."

Polwart is certainly on to something when she says the longlist is a brilliant way to discover new music. Debut full-lengths nominated this year include Catholic Action’s In Memory OfMartha Ffion for Sunday Best, Pronto Mama’s Any Joy and Best Girl Athlete’s self-titled first record. Best Girl Athlete (aka Aberdeen-born singer-songwriter Katie Buchan) says of the nomination that “making the SAY Award longlist completely validates what we have tried to do with this album and to have some critical recognition from within the music community is so gratifying.”

“It is encouraging to see so many debut and second albums on this year’s list – a recognition of the fantastic new generation of talent that’s pouring out of Scotland,” adds Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland. “This award is also a vindication for independent and grassroots labels whose releases continue to overshadow the majors when it comes to sheer quality of music“.

There are plenty of stalwarts of the Scottish music scene nominated too, including Mogwai (for Every Country’s Sun), Golden Teacher (for No Luscious Life) and Franz Ferdinand (for Always Ascending). Other nominations include Happy Meals (now known as Free Love) for Full Ashram Devotional Ceremony (Volumes IV - VI), Kobi Onyame for Gold, The Spook School for Could It Be Different? and BABE for Kiss & Tell – “I just want to do my best for the team. Wait, what sport is this?” joked the latter Glasgow band.

Launched in 2012, the SAY Award's previous winners are Sacred Paws for Strike a Match (2017), Anna Meredith for Varmints (2016), Kathryn Joseph for bones you have thrown me and blood i’ve spilled (2015), Young Fathers for Tape Two (2014), RM Hubbert for Thirteen Lost & Found (2013) and Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat for Everything’s Getting Older (2012).

The SAY Award longlist will be whittled down to a shortlist of ten albums – one of which will be chosen by music fans via a 72-hour online vote on (20-22 Aug), and the other nine chosen by a panel of independent judges. This shortlist is announced on 23 August, before the award ceremony itself takes place on 6 September at Paisley Town Hall.

The SAY Award 2018 Longlist is as follows (in alphabetical order):

Adam Holmes and The Embers – Midnight Milk
BABE – Kiss & Tell
Best Girl Athlete – Best Girl Athlete
Blue Rose Code – The Water of Leith
Catholic Action – In Memory Of
Chris Stout and Catriona McKay – Bare Knuckle
Elephant Sessions – All We Have Is Now
Franz Ferdinand – Always Ascending
Golden Teacher – No Luscious Life
Happy Meals (now known as Free Love) – Full Ashram Devotional Ceremony (Volumes IV - VI)
Karine Polwart with Pippa Murphy – A Pocket of Wind Resistance
Kobi Onyame – Gold
Martha Ffion – Sunday Best
Mogwai – Every Country’s Sun
Neon Waltz – Strange Hymns
Out Lines – Conflats
Pronto Mama – Any Joy
Siobhan Wilson – There Are No Saints
The Spook School – Could It Be Different?
Young Fathers – Cocoa Sugar