The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award shortlist has been unveiled.
From 362 submissions, the ten “outstanding” albums that have made it onto the coveted list include releases from The Ninth Wave, Bossy Love, Declan Welsh & The Decadent West and Blanck Mass.
Callum Easter also made it through to the final round with album Here or Nowhere after winning the 2020 public vote.
Past winners Anna Meredith and Sacred Paws were knocked out of the running for the £20,000 grand prize, as was chart-topper Lewis Capaldi who had made the 20-strong longlist with his debut album, Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent.
SAY Award shortlist
- Blanck Mass: Animated Violence Mild
- Bossy Love: Me + U
- Callum Easter: Here or Nowhere
- Cloth: Cloth
- Comfort: Not Passing
- Declan Welsh & The Decadent West: Cheaply Bought, Expensively Sold
- Erland Cooper: Sule Skerry
- The Ninth Wave: Infancy
- NOVA: RE-UP
- SHHE: SHHE
The winner will be announced on Thursday, October 29.
All nine runners-up will each receive £1000, with everyone taking home an exclusively designed art prize created by The Say Award Design Commission.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s event has moved online and will be broadcast as a YouTube premiere.
Robert Kilpatrick, general manager of the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), said: “This year’s shortlist is an emotive list of records which shows strength, ambition and confidence in the last year of Scotland’s recorded output.
“It presents a strong sense of Scotland’s diverse cultural identity, particularly from a wave of new artists, with an incredible eight debut albums making up the shortlist of ten; a first in the history of the award.
“A huge congratulations to each of this year’s shortlisted albums. These are ten genuinely outstanding Scottish records, and we implore you to listen to them.”
Mr Kilpatrick said Scotland’s music industry is now “on its knees” due to Covid-19 and believes sector-specific Government support is needed to help it survive.
He added: “Music adds key economic, social and cultural benefits to our society and to each of our lives.
“It plays a fundamental role in driving tourism through our events and festivals, having generated £494m for Scotland’s economy in 2018.
“But most importantly, our musical output helps us connect with both ourselves and each other. It provides us with emotional and mental wellbeing, and it often reflects the stories of our lives and the stories of our communities.
“All of this is currently at risk, and while the Scottish Government through Creative Scotland have provided some emergency funding for venues and hardship funding for artists, without further targeted support, our sector faces a severe and catastrophic loss of jobs and skills which would do long-term damage to music and culture for decades to come.
“As we announce this year’s SAY Award shortlist, it also comes with a message that celebrating and championing our music and culture is more important now than ever.
“The strength of the albums on this year’s shortlist gives a compelling reason for all of us to do so, not least due to the fact that it highlights the quality and strength of new Scottish talent, and how much that needs to be supported at this fundamental time.”