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The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award Shortlist Revealed

Published: 15 Jun 2017

Anna Meredith, SAY Award winner 2016

The ten Shortlisted albums for the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award were revealed this evening at a special BBC Music Day programming of the BBC Radio Scotland Quay Sessions.

The selected albums continue to confirm Scotland as a nation with incredible cultural importance, especially within music.

Last year’s SAY Award winner Anna Meredith visited the town of Paisley, host to this year’s SAY Award ceremony earlier today where she was greeted with a giant SAY Award logo outside Paisley Gilmour Street Station.

The SAY Award 2017 Shortlist is as follows (in alphabetical order):

  • C Duncan - The Midnight Sun
  • Ela Orleans - Circles Of Upper And Lower Hell
  • Honeyblood - Babes Never Die
  • Konx-om-Pax - Caramel
  • Meursault - I Will Kill Again
  • Mogwai - Atomic
  • Pictish Trail - Future Echoes [Public Vote Winner]
  • Rachel Newton - Here's My Heart Comes Take It
  • RM Hubbert - Telling The Trees
  • Sacred Paws - Strike A Match

The public can listen to and learn more about each album on The SAY Award Shortlist by visiting www.sayaward.com

Beginning in March, the process has taken almost 300 public submissions, to 20 Longlisted records, chosen by a panel of 100 impartial nominators, to the Shortlist of 10 albums; one of which was chosen by the public through a 72-hour online vote and the other 9 chosen by an independent panel of judges. This year’s shortlisted artists have each won £1,000, provided by long-term award partner Creative Scotland.  In addition to this, each artist will be awarded with an exclusively designed trophy created by the winner of The SAY Design Commission, Lisa Crockard.

The 72-hour voting window, which closed at midnight on Wednesday, saw Pictish Trail being voted on to the shortlist by the public.

Johnny Lynch, who goes under the guise of Pictish Trail said: "Wow. Surprised, confused, humbled and mildly aroused to have won the popular vote for the Scottish Album Of The Year Shortlist.  Thank you to all those that voted for Future Echoes, and to all those who forgot to vote but who would have voted for a different album.  I couldn’t have done it without you."

Judges include Stuart Cosgrove (Writer/Broadcaster), Caroline Winn (Glasgow International), Roland Gulliver (Edinburgh International Book Festival), Amy Liptrot (Writer), Claire Gevaux (Help Musicians UK), Tallah Brash (The Skinny), Lauren Martin (Music Journalist), Andy Hannah (Line Of Best Fit), David Scott (University of the West of Scotland), Barry Price (Sub Club), Stephanie McWhinnie (TV Producer), John Williamson [CHAIR] (Glasgow University).

Composer and performer Anna Meredith also joined the show sharing news of her year since winning the coveted SAY Award for her album ‘Varmints’ in 2016.

The SAY Award winner will be announced on 28 June in the elegant surroundings of Paisley Town Hall in support of Paisley’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2021. The winning artist will pick up a £20,000 cash prize also provided by Creative Scotland.

The SAY Award is produced by the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), in partnership with Paisley for UK City of Culture 2021, Creative Scotland, Black Bottle, TicketWeb and PPL. The award, which was launched in 2012, celebrates, promotes and rewards the most outstanding Scottish albums released each year. Respected by artists and valued by the industry, The SAY Award is responsible for a surge in musical discovery and an explosion of impassioned debate on social media.Previous SAY Award winners are Anna Meredith (2016), Kathryn Joseph (2015), Young Fathers (2014), RM Hubbert (2013) and Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat (2012).

Andy Hannah, SAY Award Judge and Journalist for The Line Of Best Fit said: "It's clear from previous winners that SAY award and the judges have chosen records which absolutely deserve all the plaudits which came their way before and after. It also brings vital, beautiful pieces of music to a wider audience - which can only be a good thing. As for this year, creating a shortlist isn't any easy task when there are a number of records to get excited about. For me, it's an honour to get to champion a handful of albums which have improved my life in the past 12 months."

Robert Kilpatrick, Projects and Operations Manager, Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), said: “On behalf of the Scottish Music Industry Association, I’d like to say a huge congratulations to the 10 fantastic albums that have been Shortlisted for this year’s SAY Award. The Shortlist, without doubt highlights the strength and diversity of the recorded output of our country’s artists, and we look forward to celebrating all 10 titles at The SAY Award ceremony later this month, where this year’s winner will be revealed.”

Jean Cameron, project director of Paisley's bid to be UK City of Culture 2021, said: "Once again, the SAY Award shortlist shows the diversity and quality of Scotland's music scene and we can't wait to welcome the acts on the shortlist to Paisley Town Hall later this month for the ceremony itself.

"We are delighted to be the SAY Award hosts for another year - not only does it show off Paisley's unique venues and ability to host, but to have attracted one of the most prestigious dates in Scotland's musical calendar to the town is a real thumbs-up for Paisley's growing reputation as one of Scotland's key cultural destinations."

Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland, said: “One of the best things about the SAY Award Shortlist is that, year after year, it encourages music fans to take their ears into another territory and listen to something they haven’t heard before. Other awards can only look on in envy as the SAY Award puts traditional harp and flamenco-hued guitar next to thunderous power-pop and soundscape electronica, in the full knowledge that every album here is absolutely worthy of your undivided attention. All of these acts either put their own distinctive stamp on their chosen genre or bend the rules out of shape to create music that’s thrillingly hard to define. Creative Scotland is proud to support a shortlist that’s as uniformly great as this.”

Emma Casey, Global Marketing Manager for Black Bottle, said: "We’re delighted to be an official partner of The SAY Award this year. We’re proud of our roots in Scotland and passionate about doing things differently, so it’s great to celebrate the work of these talented Scottish musicians who have all created their own unique sounds."

Jonathan West, Director of Marketing & Artist Services, TicketWeb, said: "I really didn’t know how the panel were going to get the shortlist down this year. It’s really cool that the public have nominated Pictish Trail. He’s become a real icon of Scottish music over the last decade so it’s beautiful to see there’s still a place in the hearts of music fans for him. Bring on the ceremony, we can’t wait to be back in Paisley!"

Peter Leathem, Chief Executive, PPL, said: “For decades, Scotland has been a thriving hotbed of musical talent, nurturing artists as diverse and varied as Orange Juice, Belle & Sebastian and Camera Obscura right through to Biffy Clyro, Chvrches and Young Fathers.  This is why, at PPL, we think it is vitally important to continue our partnership supporting the SAY Awards, an event that recognises and puts on a spotlight on some of the best music coming out of Scotland.” 

Notes to Editors

Media Contact - Alice Sawyer / Shauna McGregor at Genuine PR on alice@genuinepr.com / shauna@genuinepr.com or call 0141 243 2621

The SAY Award is a Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) production, in partnership with the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund, Renfrewshire Council, Black Bottle, TicketWeb and PPL. The SAY Award is delighted to support Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SAYaward #SAYAward #SAYshortlist17

The Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) is a trade body based in Glasgow that was set up in 2008 to foster, promote and serve the best interests of Scotland’s music industry. Their membership encompasses individuals and organisations working across all sectors of Scotland’s music industry, including artist managers, promoters, record labels, studios, artists, distributors and more. The SMIA has two core objectives, to both strengthen and champion Scotland’s music industry, and they do this through a variety of projects each year. These projects include training events such as workshops and master classes, sector meet-ups, and their biggest project, The SAY (Scottish Album of the Year) Award, Scotland’s national music prize. The SMIA also lobby government on behalf of its members, as well as offer informal support, such as by doing introductions to new contacts and companies. 

Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 will use the town's unique and fascinating story to transform its future — by putting the town in the international spotlight, attracting visitors, creating jobs and using culture to make people's lives better.

The one-time global textile hub and birthplace of the Paisley Pattern is also home to stunning architecture, an internationally-significant museum collection, Glasgow Airport, University of the West of Scotland, West College Scotland, PACE Theatre Company and a thriving contemporary cultural scene.

The UK City of Culture competition is run by the UK Government. The shortlisted cities will be announced in summer 2017, and the winner at the end of the year. Find out more about our story at www.paisley2021.co.uk

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit www.creativescotland.com.

Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland

Black Bottle is an official partner of The SAY award. The blended Scotch was created in Aberdeen in 1879 by former tea blender Gordon Graham, and has always done things a bit differently. In addition to its iconic black glass bottle, its use in cocktails has always been encouraged. Black Bottle drinks will be served at the SAY Award Ceremony, including four unique cocktails each one carefully created to be paired with one of the live performances. www.blackbottle.com

TicketWeb started in 1995 as small group of music fans who wanted to build a truly DIY ticket site dedicated to shining a light on the freshest new acts. After launching in the U.S., Canada, the UK & Ireland we soon became the go-to ticket seller for independent promoters and venues on both sides of the Atlantic. Two decades later and we’re still proud to be part of that scene but now we also work directly with the artists who fill those venues to make it even easier for real fans to get into their shows. Find out more at http://www.ticketweb.co.uk.

Founded in 1934, PPL is the UK music industry’s collective management organisation (CMO) for tens of thousands of performers and record companies.  We license recorded music in the UK when it is played in public (shops, bars, nightclubs, offices etc.) or broadcast (BBC, commercial radio, commercial TV etc.) and ensure that revenue flows back to our members.  These include both independent and major record companies, together with performers ranging from emerging grassroots artists through to established session musicians and influential festival headliners.  

PPL has a market-leading international collections business, with 83 agreements in place across 39 countries, helping members to maximise their revenue when their repertoire is played overseas.  We collected £212.1 million in the UK and internationally in 2015 and paid over 92,000 performers and record companies.

http://www.ppluk.com/