Scotland’s national music prize, The Scottish Album of The Year (SAY) Award, has just announced which ten enthralling albums have made 2018’s Shortlist. The Shortlist represents an incredibly strong, diverse and important selection of albums created by artists living and working in Scotland.

The Shortlist for The SAY Award 2018 is as follows:

  1.  BABE – Kiss & Tell
  2.  Best Girl Athlete – Best Girl Athlete
  3.  Franz Ferdinand – Always Ascending
  4.  Golden Teacher – No Luscious Life
  5.  Karine Polwart with Pippa Murphy – A Pocket of Wind Resistance
  6.  Kobi Onyame – Gold
  7.  Mogwai – Every Country’s Sun
  8.  Out Lines – Conflats
  9.  Siobhan Wilson – There Are No Saints
  10.  Young Fathers – Cocao Sugar

The SAY Award celebrates and champions the best of Scottish music whilst recognizing creativity and artistic endeavor encompassing a broad spectrum of musical genres.

The Shortlist was chosen by a highly-respected panel of judges including Strawberry Switchblade’s Rose McDowall, BAFTA award-winning film maker Lynne Ramsay and curator of National Museum Scotland’s ‘Rip It Up: The Story of Scottish Pop’, Stephen Allen. Each Shortlisted album has automatically won a guaranteed £1,000 prize, with the winning album (decided on the night of the Ceremony) being awarded £20,000.

The Shortlist was exclusively revealed earlier this evening at a special BBC Radio Scotland Quay Session hosted by Roddy Hart. The live show and broadcast included previews of new material from pop-duo Sacred Paws whose debut album, ‘Strike a Match’, won the coveted SAY Award in 2017. Also performing was Lomond Campbell (Longlisted in 2012 for Found’s celebrated album ‘Factorycraft’), and Dunfermline’s finest post punk quintet

The Skids, famous for ‎their hits ‘Into the Valley’, ‘Working for the Yankee ‎Dollar’ and ‘Masquerade’.

The 72-hour voting window, which closed at midnight on Wednesday, saw a record number of Public Votes being cast by engaged music fans, all hoping to secure their favourite Longlisted album a place on the 2018 SAY Award Shortlist.  The winner of the Public Vote was Franz Ferdinand for ‘Always Ascending’.

Paul Thomson of Franz Ferdinand said, “This year has been a particularly good one for music coming out of Scotland and the SAY Award longlist and shortlist reflects that. We’re delighted to be up there with the hard hitters.”

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “This year’s SAY Award shortlist reflects the breadth and diversity of Scotland’s music scene and we are delighted to welcome all of the shortlisted acts to Paisley Town Hall for the Award next month. This is one of the biggest nights in Scotland’s musical calendar and our third consecutive year as hosts. Music is in Paisley’s DNA and it is fair to say we love the SAY Award. A massive congratulations to all of the acts on the shortlist and we look forward to celebrating together in Paisley on September 6.”

Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland said, “Scotland’s world-class music is driven by the diversity of the artists who make it, and this year’s SAY Award shortlist shines a spotlight on the breadth of talent we have living and working here. These ten albums contain music that will touch the listener’s heart or set their feet dancing – sometimes both at the same time. They draw in influences from near and far, as pop hooks, folk melodies, international rhythms and post-rock firepower paint a widescreen portrait of what Scottish music can be in the 21st century. Creative Scotland is proud to support an award that embraces such a dynamic group of musicians, veterans and newcomers alike.”

Bruno Baudry, CEO of Harviestoun said, “Congratulations to all those who have made it to the Scottish Album of the Year Shortlist! Harviestoun are very proud to support the very best talent in the Scottish music scene. As a proudly independent Scottish brewer who constantly experiment in pursuit of the perfect beer, using our roots as our inspiration and ingredients, we are thrilled to team up with an award with similar values to our own.”

Peter Leathem, Chief Executive Officer at PPL said, “We are very proud to support the SAY Award once again in 2018.  Scotland produces a consistently strong musical output across a variety of genres and the SAY Award plays a key role in championing a diverse range of Scottish artists.  We look forward to finding out who the winner will be on 6 September.”

Tallah Brash, Music Editor at The Skinny said, “It’s wonderful to see such a diverse mix of artists in this year’s shortlist, each with excellent records. I don’t envy the judges having to whittle it down to decide a winner in September.”

You can listen to and learn more about each album on The SAY Award Shortlist by visiting

The SAY Award 2018 judges are Derek Robertson (Editor-in-Chief at Drowned in Sound), Davy Wales (Performer Development Specialist at PPL), Sarra Wild (DJ/Promoter), Stephen Allen (Head of Learning and Partnerships and curator of ‘Rip It Up: The Story of Scottish Pop’ at National Museums Scotland), Mark MacKechnie (Promoter at Riverside Festival / Electric Frog / Melting Pot), Bob Last (Co-founder, Fast Product), Caroline MacLennan (Director at HebCelt Festival), Rhiannon Mair (Producer with projects including Laura Marling, Bryde, Emma McGrath and Kimberly Anne) Rose McDowall (Musician, Strawberry Switchblade), Lynne Ramsay (BAFTA winning film director) and David Martin (Creative Director at Hidden Door Festival).

The final award ceremony takes place on Thursday 6th September in the elegant surroundings of Paisley Town Hall, with support from Renfrewshire Council.

All ten Shortlisted artists will receive an exclusively designed, commemorative award, created by the winner of The SAY 2018 Design Commission.

The SAY Award is produced by the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), in partnership with Paisley Is, Renfrewshire Council, Creative Scotland, Harviestoun, TicketWeb and PPL. The SAY Award is delighted to be supporting Help Musicians Scotland in 2018, as the award’s official Charity Partner.


Launched in 2012, The SAY Award celebrates, promotes and rewards the most outstanding Scottish albums released each year. Respected by artists and valued by the industry, it is responsible for a surge in musical discovery and an explosion of impassioned debate on social media. Previous SAY Award winners are Sacred Paws’ ‘Strike A Match’ (2017), Anna Meredith’s ‘Varmints’ (2016), Kathryn Joseph’s ‘Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood I’ve Spilled’ (2015), Young Fathers’ ‘Tape Two’ (2014), RM Hubbert’s ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’ (2013) and Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat’s ‘Everything’s Getting Older’ (2012).

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