The Scottish Album of the Year Award Announce 2023’s Longlist

The Say Award 2023. The Longlist

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Scotland’s national music prize, The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award has officially announced the twenty outstanding albums on this year’s Longlist. Now in the running to win the coveted title and £20,000 cash prize.

The SAY Award Longlist in alphabetical order is:

  • Andrew Wasylyk Hearing The Water Before Seeing The Falls
  • Becky Sikasa Twelve Wooden Boxes
  • Bemz Nova's Dad
  • Brìghde ChaimbeulCarry Them With Us
  • Brooke Combe Black Is the New Gold
  • Brownbear Demons
  • Cloth Secret Measure
  • Comfort What's Bad Enough?
  • Eyes of Others Eyes of Others
  • Free Love Inside
  • Hamish Hawk Angel Numbers
  • Joesef Permanent Damage
  • Juliette Lemoine Soaring
  • Kapil Seshasayee Laal
  • LVRA Soft Like Steel
  • Paolo Nutini Last Night in the Bittersweet
  • Scott William Urquhart & Constant Follower Even Days Dissolve
  • The Snuts Burn The Empire
  • Su-a Lee Dialogues
  • Young Fathers Heavy Heavy

The SAY Award Longlist is formulated through an extraordinary nationwide consultation with members of Scotland’s music and arts communities. Each year, the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) on-boards and tasks 100 impartial ‘Nominators’ – selected from sectors including journalism, music retail and music venues –with reviewing the eligible albums list and nominating their five favourite albums in order of preference. . The SMIA assigns a score to each title in a Nominator’s Top 5, before announcing the 20 highest scoring albums as The SAY Award Longlist.

Robert Kilpatrick, Interim CEO and Creative Director of the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) said, “Each year, artists, industry professionals and music fans alike eagerly anticipate which 20 outstanding Scottish albums will make up The SAY Award Longlist. The unifying platform that SAY offers compiled with the egalitarian nature of both our submissions and nominations process is, what I believe, makes The Longlist stand up as important, credible and authentic.

“Scotland’s cultural identity is shared; it belongs to and is influenced by everyone that calls Scotland home. In a music context, it’s the SMIA’s job to make sure that the full spectrum of Scotland’s music industry is reflected in our work, and with The SAY Award Longlist being determined by 100 impartial industry Nominators – comprising individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and genre specialisms from right across the country – this means it’s much more than a list of 20 great records; it’s the soundtrack of life in Scotland.

“A massive congratulations to each of this year’s nominees. With 2023 seeing a record-breaking 437 eligible albums submitted, it’s an amazing achievement and a testament to the strength and diversity of Scotland’s recorded output.”

Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland said, “The album is an anchor in the choppy seas of random playlists. It’s a personal statement of intent, a self-contained body of work that lets listeners know how an artist is feeling at a precise moment in time. The 20 nominees on this year’s SAY Award Longlist celebrate friendship and fatherhood, confront anxiety and identity, and sometimes just revel in the unbridled joy of good music. This is a fantastic snapshot of Scotland in all its creative glory.”

From a record-breaking 437 eligible album submissions in 2023, this year’s Longlist spans the length and breadth of Scotland, with albums from the Highlands to the Central Belt making the cut, as well as newcomers and SAY Award alumni. Debuts from Becky Sikasa, LVRA and Brooke Combe sit alongside veterans of the Scottish music industry and previous SAY Award winners and Shortlisted artists including Young Fathers, Paolo Nutini and Andrew Wasylyk.

The Longlist will now be whittled down to a Shortlist of 10 albums, one of which will be chosen by music fans via a 72-hour online public vote from 2 - 4 October. The remaining nine albums will be chosen by The SAY Award judging panel, who will then later reconvene to determine 2023’s winner; exclusively announced at Stirling’s Albert Halls on Thursday 26 October at The SAY Award Ceremony 2023.

The SAY Award winner will receive a £20,000 prize and walk away with the coveted title of Scottish Album of the Year, whilst nine runners up on the Shortlist will each receive £1,000. All artists will also receive bespoke prizes created by a Stirling-based artist through The SAY Award Design Commission; highlighting the enduring links between music, art and design in Scotland.

The SAY Award winner will be revealed alongside the winner of The Sound of Young Scotland Award and the Modern Scottish Classic Award. The Sound of Young Scotland Award aims to stimulate the future of Scottish music and provides a young and emerging artist with financial support to enable the creation of their debut album, whilst the Modern Scottish Classic Award recognises an iconic album from Scotland’s past that still inspires today.

As one of the most highly anticipated nights in Scotland’s musical calendar, music fans can buy tickets to attend The SAY Award Ceremony now at; joining an audience of artists, industry professionals, press and cultural tastemakers to celebrate the cultural impact and contribution of outstanding Scottish albums. Set to a back-drop of special live performances that showcase the strength and diversity of Scotland’s musical landscape, The SAY Award Ceremony makes its return to Stirling’s Albert Halls on Thursday 26 October.

The SAY Award also continues its commitment to the support of young people in Scotland by partnering with the country’s young people’s mental health charity, Tiny Changes. Set up in memory of artist and Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison, the organisation aims to help young minds feel better through a community of tiny change makers.

The SAY Award is a Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) production and has distributed over £330,000 in prize money to Scottish artists since its inception in 2012.  The SAY Award 2023 is delivered in partnership with Creative Scotland, Stirling Council, Stirling Alive with Culture, YouTube Music, Seabass Vinyl, Ticketmaster, Help Musicians, HMV, FOPP, PPL, Spotify, Go Forth Stirling, Youth Music Initiative, Youth Music and Music Declares Emergency. The SAY Award’s Charity Partner for 2023 is Tiny Changes; Scotland’s very first national children and young people’s mental health charity funding projects and ideas that help young minds feel better.

Now in its twelfth year, previous winners of The SAY Award include; Fergus McCreadie ‘Forest Floor’ (2022), Mogwai ‘As The Love Continues' (2021), Nova ‘Re-Up’ (2020), Auntie Flo ‘Radio Highlife’ (2019), Young Fathers ‘Cocoa Sugar’ (2018), Sacred Paws ‘Strike A Match’ (2017), Anna Meredith ‘Varmints’ (2016), Kathryn Joseph ‘Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood I’ve Spilled’ (2015), Young Fathers ‘Tape Two’ (2014), RM Hubbert ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’ (2013) and the inaugural winner Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat ‘Everything’s Getting Older’ (2012).

Tickets for 2023’s ceremony at the Albert Halls, Stirling are on sale now via with 2022’s winner Fergus McCreadie set to perform before the winner of Scotland’s national album prize is revealed.

Don’t miss The SAY Award 2023 news - follow the award on social media across Twitter @SAYaward, Instagram @sayaward, Facebook @SAYaward and TikTok @thesayaward


The Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) is a not-for-profit trade body and membership organisation which exists to strengthen, empower and unite Scotland’s music industry.

As a Creative Scotland Regularly Funded Organisation (RFO), we work to create and nurture an inclusive membership community which reflects the full spectrum of Scotland’s music industry. We give voice to our membership when speaking to Government, Parliament and development organisations, and we both produce and support projects and programmes that stimulate sustainability, domestic and international growth, development and innovation in Scotland’s music sector. Our services, projects and events are designed to strengthen and increase the value of Scotland’s music industry on the world stage: economically, socially and culturally.

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at Follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at

Stirling Council serves more than 94,000 residents and a thriving business community in area that stretches from the scenic Campsie Fells to the vibrant city of Stirling and the outstanding natural landscape of the Trossachs. Stirling is steeped in history having first being declared a Royal Burgh in the 12th century. The nation’s most cherished landmarks are found here, including the National Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle, making Stirling alive with history and culture while a growing modern artistic scene nurtures new creative talent.

YouTube Music is a completely reimagined streaming music service with music videos, official albums, singles, remixes, live performances, covers and hard-to-find music you can only get on YouTube. It’s ALL here! YouTube Music serves music based on your tastes and what’s moving the community around you. Discover something new or keep up with what’s trending. Basic functions such as playing music and watching videos are totally free, and you can upgrade to YouTube Music Premium to explore the world of music ad-free, offline, and with the screen locked. YouTube Music is now available in over 90 countries and regions. For additional information, visit

Seabass Vinyl is Scotland’s first vinyl pressing plant. We are an independent, family-owned business, manufacturing records from our factory in East Lothian, with an emphasis on quality and sustainability. We offer fair prices, short production runs and optimised production lead times. Our ambition is to become a valuable partner to the Scottish music industry and our local community

Ticketmaster is the world’s largest ticket marketplace and the global market leader in live event ticketing products and services. Through official partnerships with thousands of venues, artists, sports teams, festivals, performing arts centres and theatres, Ticketmaster processes 500 million tickets per year across 30+ different countries. Ticketmaster is a part of Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV).

Help Musicians is a charity that loves music and for over 100 years has been working hard to make a meaningful difference to the lives of musicians across the UK. It offers a broad range of help to support music creators in times of crisis and opportunity - ensuring musicians across the UK can achieve their creative potential and sustain a career in music.

HMV, for the fans since 1921. A leading specialist retailer of music, film, pop culture and technology products, with over 100 stores around the UK & Ireland offering a wide selection of new release and catalogue titles


Founded in 1934,  PPL is the UK music industry’s collective management organisation (CMO) for performers and recording rightsholders. 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 globally renowned artists. PPL’s public performance licensing is carried out on PPL’s behalf by PPL PRS Ltd, the joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music.

Spotify transformed music listening forever when it launched in 2008. Discover, manage and share over 80 million tracks, including 4.7 million podcasts, for free, or upgrade to Spotify Premium to access exclusive features for music including improved sound quality and an on-demand, offline, and ad-free music listening experience. Today, Spotify is the world’s most popular audio streaming subscription service with 515m users, including 210m subscribers, in over 180 markets.

Go Forth Business Business Improvement District (BID) involves Stirling businesses working together and investing collectively in local improvements. The organisation gives businesses a unified voice and delivers projects and services that will improve the trading environment of the Stirling BID area; to the benefit of the businesses, their customers and visitors to the city centre. For more details visit

The Scottish Government’s Youth Music Initiative (YMI), administered by Creative Scotland, creates access to high quality music making opportunities, enables young people to achieve their potential in or through music and supports the development of the sector for the benefit of young people. In 2021/22, more than 362,483 children and young people from Scotland’s 32 local authority areas were given free access to music-making experiences. To find out more about the YMI programme please visit

Youth Music is the UK’s leading young people’s music charity. We believe that every young person should have the chance to make, learn and earn in music. Yet our research shows that many can’t because of who they are, where they’re from or what they’re going through. We leverage our insights, investment, and influence to build a national grassroots infrastructure that ensures the future of music is more inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible. Youth Music is funded thanks to the National Lottery via Arts Council England, players of People's Postcode Lottery and support from partners, fundraisers and donors.

Formed by a group of UK based artists and music industry professionals in London in 2019, Music Declares Emergency has now expanded to four continents and works with over 6000 declarers from all sectors and areas of the global music industry, placing music at the heart of conversation and action in relation to the climate emergency.

Tiny Changes is Scotland’s first national young people’s mental health charity. We run projects with young leaders that help young minds feel better. The charity was set up in memory of artist and Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison. Through his music and art Scott made tiny changes that had a big impact on people from all walks of life. We believe that Scotland’s young people deserve great mental health, and we believe in their insight and innovation to make this possible. We exist to nurture the talent of young people to find solutions that work for them.

Media contacts

Colette Baptie | [email protected] | 07807 887 527