The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award celebrates artistic endeavour with the announcement of this year’s 20 longlisted albums.

A panel of 100 expert nominators were asked to vote for their favourite new releases, with the results unveiled tonight by broadcaster and journalist Nicola Meighan at an exclusive gig at Glasgow’s King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut. The Longlist recognises artistic achievement across a wide range of contemporary music genres and provides a snapshot of the incredible depth and resonance of music being made by artists living and working in Scotland.

Now in its seventh year, The SAY Award is Scotland’s most popular and prestigious music prize. The winning artist will pick up a £20,000 prize – provided by long-term Award partner Creative Scotland – with the nine runners-up each receiving £1,000.

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

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

Listen to and learn more about each album on The SAY Award Longlist by visiting where there will be two featured albums every day from Monday 6th August.

Robert Kilpatrick, General Manager, Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), said:

“This year’s Longlist celebrates another 20 incredibly strong, diverse and important contemporary Scottish records. It was great to reveal these tonight at King Tut’s in Glasgow, to an audience featuring artists, industry and music fans from across the country. The announcement was set to a backdrop of incredible live performances from previously nominated acts, and we were delighted to be raising money for our Charity Partner Help Musicians Scotland. On behalf of the Scottish Music Industry Association, I’d like to congratulate all of this year’s Longlisted artists on fantastic album releases.”

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said:

“The SAY Award is one of the biggest nights of the year in the Scottish music calendar and we are delighted to welcome the prestigious event back to Paisley for a third time.

“Hosting an event such as this has helped establish Paisley as a key destination on Scotland’s major events map, whilst celebrating the town’s rich musical heritage and thriving music scene.

“My congratulations go to all of the artists announced on The Longlist. We’re very excited to see who will make it to the Shortlist and join us for a spectacular night in Paisley Town Hall next month.”

Alan Morrison, Head of Music, Creative Scotland, said:

“The SAY Award has always shone a high-profile spotlight on new artists, providing career-changing moments for past winners such as Kathryn Joseph and Young Fathers. 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. 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 “.

Bruno Baudry, CEO of Harviestoun, said:

Harviestoun are incredibly excited to be joining the SAY Award this year as a partner, supporting 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, which offers a remarkable opportunity for creative talent across a broad spectrum to flourish in the music industry. 

We look forward to toasting the finalists at Paisley Town Hall in September, alongside all of the artists who have come together to make such an incredibly inspiring competition this year. With such a high calibre of albums to choose from it promises to be a captivating finale.

Peter Leathem, Chief Executive Officer, PPL said

“Helping to give back to the artists who have put so much time and effort into creating such strong output is something that we at PPL are extremely passionate about. It is wonderful to celebrate a rich and diverse Longlist which provides a platform for both emerging and established artists to further their careers.

The Scottish Album of the Year sits at the heart of the Scottish music industry and we are proud to support these Awards which provide genuine inspiration to countless artists throughout the country.”

Suzanne Miller, Head of HMScotland said:

“Help Musicians Scotland is honoured to be the SAY Award 2018 Charity Partner. We look forward to a night which spotlights Scotland’s amazing talent across all genres. Good luck everyone!”  

Once again, ‘Live at the Longlist’ allowed music fans, artists and industry to come together and celebrate the incredible strength and diversity of Scotland’s musical landscape. Now in its second year, the event highlighted the Scottish Music Industry Association’s commitment to championing Scottish artists and their output. Attendees were treated to an exclusive collaboration between Stina Tweeddale of Honeyblood and Carla J. Easton of TeenCanteen, who teamed up to perform tracks from each of their previously SAY Award nominated albums. Emma Pollock then gave a powerful performance featuring songs from her album ‘In Search of Harperfield’, which was Shortlisted for The SAY Award in 2016, and classics from her vast and well respected repertoire. Following the announcement, Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite provided an expansive DJ set to close the event.

All proceeds from ‘Live at the Longlist’ were donated to Help Musicians Scotland, The SAY Award’s charity partner for 2018.

The Longlist will be whittled down to a Shortlist of 10 albums – one chosen by music fans via a 72-hour online vote on (20th– 22nd August), and the other nine chosen by a panel of independent judges.

The SAY Award Shortlist will be announced on Thursday 23rd August, before the award ceremony itself takes place on Thursday 6th  September in the elegant surroundings of Paisley Town Hall, with support from Renfrewshire Council.

All ten Shortlisted artists will also 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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