Oct 24, 2021




Tonight, the winner of Scotland’s national music prize, The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award, was announced as Mogwai – ‘As The Love Continues’ at a stunning award ceremony in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, as the country’s music industry reunited once more after a turbulent 18 months.

‘As The Love Continues’ is Mogwai’s tenth studio album and the band’s first SAY Awardwin, having been Shortlisted four times previously and Longlisted in 2015. It is their third UK Top 10 charting album and reached Number 1 in the UK album charts within the first week of its release in February 2021 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The album was nominated for a Mercury Prize in 2021 and now holds the coveted title of Scottish Album of the Year, with the band collecting a £20,000 prize and bespoke trophy.

Listen to 2021’s Scottish Album of the Year HERE.

Celebrating 10 incredible years of The SAY Award, the event recognised Scotland’s musical past while looking to the future, awarding Frightened Rabbit – ‘The Midnight Organ Fight‘ the Modern Scottish Classic Award while LVRA was named the Sound of Young Scotland. With special performances from 2020’s winner Nova plus Sacred Paws, Bemz and more to commemorate each previous SAY Award winning album, the ceremony was a poignant mix of reflection, celebration and recognition of the strength and diversity of Scotland’s musical output.

This year’s inaugural Modern Scottish Classic winner was chosen by 2021’s Longlistedartists as an album from Scotland’s past that still inspires music being made today. The winner was ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’ by Frightened Rabbit. Presenting the award was Sandra Gordon (Fundraising Officer, Tiny Changes) and James Graham (Twilight Sad).

Also how brilliant is this – Scotland has a music award ceremony that can fill the Usher Hall! 10 years ago I was at the first one in Govan and everyone was like ‘what even is this? we’re being told we’re good at what we do?!’ which in Scotland we’re not used to! SAY Award – well done and thank you for everything that you have done for Scottish music and artists, especially after the year that we’ve all just had.

Thanks to Scott, what a f*****g guy. He’s already thinking that I’ve spoken for too long so I’ll leave it there and if everyone here tonight could do one thing – if you could text someone in your phone book who might need to hear from someone. Just ask them how they are or if they want to meet up. Just say hi, it might change their path. Thank you to all of you, you’re all amazing and this means so much to us.”


Championing the cultural impact, strength and diversity of Scottish albums for a decade, The SAY Award has now distributed over almost £300,000 in prize money to Scottish artists, and championed 200 Longlisted albums over 10 campaigns. From 327 eligible album submissions this year, to a Longlist of 20 and a Shortlist of 10, ‘As The Love Continues’ was chosen as the overall winner by this year’s independent Judging Panel.

Winning the award with their tenth studio album, and on SAY’s 10th year, is a special moment for a band who have contributed so much to Scotland’s cultural identity, and for SAY which has celebrated, promoted and rewarded outstanding Scottish records since 2012.

‘As The Love Continues’ is a record that we’re incredibly proud to see recognised as Scottish Album of the Year tonight, and one which has rightly seen both commercial success and critical acclaim. Massive congratulations to the band, to Rock Action Records and to all involved in what is a genuinely incredible body of work. This win is so well deserved.

Tonight we also got to celebrate the winners of our two new awards, with LVRA claiming the Sound of Young Scotland Award, and Frightened Rabbit’s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’ receiving the inaugural Modern Scottish Classic for a body of work that will be cherished for many years to come.

In a room full of artists, music industry professionals and music fans, after such a tough and turbulent 18 months, tonight we have truly felt the power, importance and impact of Scottish music at a time it’s never been more needed. Scottish music has never felt stronger, more exciting and more diverse. We have a lot to be proud of.”

Held for the first time in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, with music fans able to purchase tickets and join the celebrations, the ceremony was co-hosted by BBC Radio Scotland presenters Nicola Meighan and Vic Galloway, and was truly a night to remember as artists, fans and industry figureheads were once again reunited following last year’s digital campaign. With the biggest and best from Scotland’s music industry back under the same roof, the ceremony celebrated 2021’s Shortlist with all nine runners up collecting £1,000 and their own bespoke commemorative trophy, with this year’s design focused around sustainability. The SAY Award Design Commission, in association with OVO Energy and curated by Local Heroes, saw Glasgow based design duo Still Life create striking recycled plastic vases and engraved trays made using 21kg of waste plastic including bottle tops and bleach bottles.

In alphabetical order, 2021’s The SAY Award Shortlist;
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.’2021’s Judging Panel included a range of influential tastemakers from across the creative spheres who debated the Shortlist and crowned Mogwai’s ‘As The Love Continues’ the ultimate winner. The 11-strong panel included; Angela Dorgan (CEO, First Music Contact),  Ashley Storrie (Comedian), Daniel Portman (Actor), Etienne Kubwabo (Filmmaker/DJ/Writer), Ian Rankin (Author), Jackie Kay (Poet), Phoebe Inglis-Holmes (Broadcaster/Writer/DJ), Sandra Gordon (Fundraising Officer, Tiny Changes), Shannon Carragher (Editor, Spotify), Sheniece Charway (Artist Relations Manager, YouTube Music) and Tim Burgess (Musician/Author).Tonight’s award ceremony included one-off performances taking a trip back through ten years of SAY, with special live performances celebrating each of the previous nine SAY Award winning albums. From Hamish Hawk performing ‘The Copper Top’ from the first ever winner Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat’s ‘Everything’s Getting Older’ album to a magnificent collaboration between this year’s Shortlisted artist AiiTee and Longlistedartist Bemz to recognise Young Father’s ‘Tape Two’ and ‘Cocoa Sugar’, the specially curated performances took the audience on a journey through Scotland’s musical landscape.Developed and produced by the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), the 2021 campaign is delivered in partnership with Creative Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council, YouTube Music, Spotify, OVO Energy, Ticketmaster and PPL with Music Declares Emergency returning as the award’s Charity Partner for a second year. Supporters for The SAY Award 2021 include; Dumfries Music Conference, Help Musicians Scotland, Jupiter Artland, Resonate, SWIM, Scottish Refugee Council, The Touring Network, Wide Days, XpoNorth, Youth Music, Youth Music Initiative.

Previous winners of The SAY Award include Nova ‘Re-Up‘ (2020), Auntie Flo ‘Radio Highlife‘ (2019), Young Fathers ‘Cocoa Sugar‘ (2018), Sacred Paws ‘Strike A Match‘ (2017), Anna Meredith ‘Varmints‘ (2016), Kathryn Joseph ‘Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood I’ve Spilled‘ (2015), Young Fathers ‘Tape Two‘ (2014), RM Hubbert ‘Thirteen Lost & Found‘ (2013) and the inaugural winner Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat ‘Everything’s Getting Older‘ (2012).

To keep up with The SAY Award journey, make sure you follow the award on Twitter @SAYaward, Instagram @sayaward and Facebook @SAYaward.

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