Article Source: The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award
First Published: 19 October 2021 10:57
Updated: 19 October 2021 12:23
With only FOUR days to go until Scotland’s national music prize reveals the winner of the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award, fans look ahead to this year’s live Ceremony which will be a celebration of the past 10 years of the award, as well as what will be a significant moment of reunion for Scotland’s music industry after a turbulent time apart.
2021’s Shortlist have chosen Scottish albums and artists who have impacted their own careers, in a nod to The SAY Award’s 10th birthday and its own cultural impact. With the likes of Joesef choosing Glasvegas, Lizzie Reid picking Rachel Sermanni and The Snuts choosing The View, the list is a true celebration of the collaborative nature of Scotland’s music scene. See below for choices and quotes from this year’s Shortlist including Arab Strap, Rachel Newton, The Ninth Wave and more.
The SAY Award have also announced the performing line-up for this year’s Ceremony, set to take place in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on Saturday 23rd October, 2020’s winner Nova will open the show. Winning the prestigious award in a year like no other, Nova is set to take to the stage alongside other former SAY Award winners Sacred Paws, as well as rising talent Hamish Hawk PLUS special performances from surprise guests to celebrate 10 years of The SAY Award. BBC Radio Scotland presenters Nicola Meighan and Vic Galloway will host the Ceremony, which will also honour this year’s Modern Scottish Classic winner - Frightened Rabbit’s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’.
And finally, brand new for 2021, this year’s Sound of Young Scotland Finalists have been announced as; Alex Amor, Cameron Roxburgh, Jen Mac, kitti and LVRA. Chosen by a panel of former SAY Award nominees from this year’s eligible applicants, the winner will be announced at The SAY Award Ceremony, taking home up to £5,000 to facilitate the creation of their debut album, plus 500 vinyl pressings of the finished record.
In alphabetical order, the 10 albums Shortlisted for the coveted Scottish Album of the Year title and final prize of £20,000 are:
The SAY Award Shortlist 2021
AiiTee – ‘Love Don’t Fall’
Arab Strap – ‘As Days Get Dark’
Biffy Clyro – ‘A Celebration of Endings’
Joesef – ‘Does It Make You Feel Good?’
Lizzie Reid – ‘Cubicle’
Mogwai – ‘As The Love Continues’
Rachel Newton – ‘To The Awe’
Stanley Odd – ‘STAY ODD’
The Ninth Wave – ‘Happy Days!’
The Snuts – ‘W.L.’
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As the final countdown to The SAY Award Ceremony begins, some of this year’s Shortlisted artists took the time to reflect on standout Scottish albums and artists that influenced and shaped their careers.
Arab Strap said: “Am I allowed David Byrne? A bit tenuous (and obvious) maybe, but I was obsessed with Talking Heads from about the age of 13 onwards. Other than that, I remember seeing The Proclaimers on Top of the Pops, singing in their own accents as though it was perfectly normal. The only other time I'd seen that must've been the 1982 World Cup Squad with John Gordon Sinclair, so it was quite an ear-opener, and I still listen to their first two albums all the time.”
Joesef said: “Probably Glasvegas and their debut album. Being from the East End, it was so strange to hear the things I’d grown up surrounded by reflected in music for the first time. I was only thirteen at the time but I remember hearing songs like ‘Daddys Gone’ and ‘Ice Cream Van’ and having quite a visceral experience in the kitchen listening to it on a CD player. Their influence lies in James’ matter of fact style of writing and delivery, as well as their guitar tones and reverbs, I think that's definitely something that's seeped into my music.”
Lizzie Reid said: “Discovering Rachel Sermanni for me was quite a revelation. As a huge Joni Mitchell and Laura Marling fan, it was nice to discover someone from here that was making music of that ilk. She also knows how to captivate an audience and hold them in the palm of her hand, which is inspirational to me.”
Rachel Newton said: “One of the records that has influenced and inspired me most is Martyn Bennett's album 'Grit'. It's a brave, emotional, genre-defying album that mixes the modern and the ancient with a deep, natural understanding that is exhilarating to behold.”
Stanley Odd, Dave aka Solareye said: “For an artist that has influenced us, I think it has to be Loki. I could pick any number of Loki albums that are inspirational, from 'Summer Knows a Darker Shade of Grey' to 'Trigger Warning', the acerbic razor-sharp cultural commentary, dissection of complex social constructs and brutal straight-up top-tier braggadocious wordplay are mind-blowing and energising. Dunt would have 'Trying to Sell a Bridge', with Konchis’ production, at the top of his list as one that inspires him. Throughout Loki’s back catalogue he pushes boundaries, creates interconnected collections of songs tied to a wider narrative and challenges his audience. Each release has me drawn into a world brought to life by the metaphors and imagery, set in motion by the plotlines, and makes me want to be a better emcee.”
The Ninth Wave, Haydn said: “The Twilight Sad have probably been the biggest influence on me as a songwriter, mainly because their songs have taught me to be more at ease with what I actually want to say in the songs that I write. There’s a starkness to so much of their music, especially in the lyrics, and that sort of brutal truthfulness got me hooked on them from the first time I listened to their music.”
The Snuts, Callum said: “Hard to choose just one if I’m honest! I feel as a smaller nation, our output into the world has always been massive culturally and musically. The View’s debut record was a massive one for us, and their sound - in the same way The Libertines did, made us fall in love with scrappy guitars. Glasvegas debut was one of the first records I remember listening to cover to cover with no skips. Every tune just connected. Then there’s Franz Ferdinand, Biffy, Jesus & Mary Chain, Lewis Capaldi - the list goes on.”
CELEBRATING A MODERN SCOTTISH CLASSIC AND THE SOUND OF YOUNG SCOTLAND
2021’s SAY Award Longlist also voted for the inaugural Modern Scottish Classic Award, recognising an album from Scotland’s past that still inspires music being made today, with the winner chosen as Frightened Rabbit - ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’. The album, which is cherished by many, will be recognised on the night of The SAY Award Ceremony.
2021’s Sound of Young Scotland Award finalists are today announced as Alex Amor, Cameron Roxburgh, Jen Mac, kitti and LVRA. The new award, supported by Key Production, Youth Music and the Youth Music Initiative, aims to drive the future of Scotland’s music scene by annually awarding a young, emerging artist. The winner will receive up to £5,000 funding to cover costs relating to the production of their debut album, such as producing, studio rentals, engineers, mixing, mastering, recording expenses and more. They will also receive 500 vinyl pressings of the finished record, along with a bespoke art prize from The SAY Award Design Commission.
Alex Amor said, “I am incredibly honoured to be nominated for the Sound of Young Scotland Award. Each year, I am blown away by the abundance of stellar albums nominated for The SAY award, and it would be a dream come true to be given funding towards my debut album, hopefully following in the footsteps of the contemporaries I look up to.”
Cameron Roxburgh said, “We are ecstatic to be finalists for the Sound of Young Scotland Award. Both Callum and I have been following The SAY Award for many years and we simply cannot wait to attend the event, and celebrate Scottish music with so many others.”
Jen Mac said, “I’m genuinely lost for words being a finalist for the Sound of Young Scotland Award. For me, this is an opportunity to represent my home region of Dumfries and Galloway, a region that I believe is often overlooked and underrepresented in the national music scene.”
kitti said, “I am absolutely over the moon to be a finalist for this wonderful award! To even be in the running for being considered for The Sound of Young Scotland Award is fabulous and I definitely feel like my career is headed in the right direction!”
Rachel Lu, aka LVRA said, “This project is a huge part of me, so to have it recognised by such an acclaimed group of judges feels incredible. I am super grateful to the SAY team for giving young Scottish musicians a platform and a voice.”
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