On Friday 26th July at The Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh, the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award will bring together incredible artists and music fans to celebrate the strength and diversity of Scottish music. Twenty outstanding Scottish albums will be announced as this year’s SAY Award Longlist, all in the running for the £20,000 prize and coveted title of Scottish Album of the Year. Ahead of the reveal at the Live at the Longlist event, SAY Awardalumni including previous winner Kathryn Joseph, Mogwai, Honeyblood and The Spook School share their personal accounts of their favourite Scottish albums from the past year.
The SAY Award is also delighted to reveal brand new partners for this year’s campaign, with YouTube Music and Edinburgh based distillery Sweetdram joining existing partners including Ticketmaster New Music, PPL, Harviestoun Brewery and Creative Scotland.
YouTube Music is a new music streaming service made for music listening, on top of the magic of YouTube: making the world of music easier to explore and more personalised than ever. Whether you want to listen, watch or discover – all the ways music moves you can be found in one place – not just music videos, but official albums, singles, remixes, live performances, covers and hard-to-find music you can’t get anywhere else. The Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) are delighted to partner with YouTube Music for 2019’s SAY Award; the highest profile and most ambitious campaign to date.
Sweetdram is another hugely exciting addition to The SAY Award 2019 campaign, with the Edinburgh based spirits company having been established by Daniel Fisher and Andrew MacLeod Smith in 2014 and the brand being huge supporters of Scotland’s rich, diverse and internationally admired music scene. Sweetdram spoke to The SAY Award about their love for music with Co-Founder Daniel Fisher revealing “we’ve got the meatiest sound system and biggest vinyl collection at any distillery in Scotland, probably the world.”
Mogwai guitarist Stuart Braithwaite, spoke to The SAY Award unveiling his top record from the last 12 months and an album he’d love to see on The SAY Award Longlist saying: “The record (alongside all the releases on Rock Action, obviously!) that I’d love to see on The SAY Longlist is ‘Throne’ by Heather Leigh. She’s a fantastic experimental musician and it’d be great for her music to reach as many people as possible.”
Previous SAY Award winner Kathryn Joseph shared the heartfelt, “All my parts are crossed that The Twilight Sad get the win they deserve. ‘It Won/t Be Like This All the Time’ is a perfect and beautiful record and they are the best of all humans.”
Stina Tweeddale from Glasgow’s Honeyblood said: “The Twilight Sad’s ‘It Won/t Be Like This All the Time’ is an exceptional album that cements the band as a pillar of Scottish music. It really blew me away. It brings them to a new dimension of bigger and better without destroying the central elements of their unique sound. Carla J. Easton’s ‘Impossible Stuff’ sees Carla step into her own with this record and push through into a more vulnerable place with her song-writing while still holding on to her pop sensibilities. I absolutely love it.”
Niall McCamley from The Spook School said: “Free Love’s album is so fun, so catchy, so dreamy. I feel they can take me to a party and also gently put me in a state of meditation. The Kapil Seshasayee record always blows me away, it is so important and relevant, and it sounds so good. The Hector Collectorsare just so much fun and I love their brains!”
David Mogendorff, Head of Artist Partnerships for YouTube Music, EMEA said: “YouTube Music could not be more excited to be supporting The SAY Award this year. Scotland has a long history of creating music that is loved by the world, and we’re delighted to work with The SAY Award to highlight the incredible diversity of the Scottish music scene both within Scotland and beyond.”
New partners Sweetdram Co-founder Daniel Fisher continued: “Music is massively important to us, so having the opportunity to partner with The SAY Award this year is particularly special. As independent flavour-driven distillers who make spirits that sit in the spaces between conventional categories, we appreciate how difficult it can be to strike the right balance between creative conviction and commercial imperative. Thanks to the great work being continuously carried out by the team at The SAY Award, and the SMIA in general, we hope that Scottish musicians can find increasing ways to stay loyal to themselves artistically and still afford the rent. We’re only jealous there isn’t an equivalent for the craft drinks industry.”
The Live at the Longlist event is not to be missed. As well as the live Longlist announcement, the event will also feature performances from previous SAY Award nominees C Duncan, Kobi Onyame and a unique collaboration between Idlewild’s Rod Jones and Modern Studies, and a special set from Tallah Brash, Music Editor at The Skinny.
This year saw a record total of 293 eligible albums submitted. The 293 album submissions have been whittled down to 20 albums by 100 impartial ‘nominators’ chosen from a range of musical backgrounds. Nominators have listened through an impressive 13,000 minutes of music between them to make their decision.In 2019, The SAY Award relocates to Edinburgh for the very first time, bringing Scotland’s national music prize and two flagship events to the capital city. Live at the Longlist – where this year’s 20 Longlisted albums will be revealed – takes place on Friday 26 July at the iconic and much-loved Queen’s Hall. Celebrating a 40th Anniversary this year, the venue opened in 1979 and has played host to legendary artists including Nina Simone, Aztec Camera, Jeff Buckley, Nick Cave, Blur, The Pixies, Coldplay, David Byrne and many more over the years. The SAY Award ceremony will then take place on Friday 6 September in the opulent setting of The Assembly Rooms. The ceremony will celebrate the 10 outstanding albums that will make up The SAY AwardShortlist (announced on Thursday 15 August), with each title receiving an art prize created by The SAY Award Design Commission winner and a minimum prize of £1,000. The SAY Award judging panel reconvene for the ceremony and decide who picks up the £20,000 first prize and coveted title of Scottish Album of the Year.