Scottish Album of the Year award reveals shortlist ahead of ceremony in Stirling after record entries

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Scotland’s coveted national music prize; the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) award announced its ten-strong shortlist on Thursday afternoon.

The award shortlist recognises the best Scottish albums of the past year and the artists who created them and leaves them in the running for the award and a £20,000 prize.

This year saw a record number of 369 album submissions of which just 20 made the longlist following a review by industry nominators. 

Nine of the final shortlist were chosen to remain in the running by a panel of industry professionals, with the tenth shortlisted album chosen by music fans in a 72-hour online public vote.

In alphabetical order, The SAY Award Shortlist for 2022 is:

  • AiiTee – ‘Better Days’
  • Constant Follower  – ‘Neither Is, Nor Ever Was’
  • Fergus McCreadie – ‘Forest Floor’
  • Hamish Hawk – ‘Heavy Elevator’
  • Hen Hoose – ‘Equaliser’
  • Kathryn Joseph – ‘for you who are the wronged’
  • Kobi Onyame – ‘Don’t Drink The Poison’
  • Niteworks – ‘A’Ghrian’
  • Proc Fiskal – ‘Siren Spine Sysex’
  • Walt Disco – ‘Unlearning’

The 2022 judging panel includes the National Library of Scotland’s CEO Amina Shah, YouTube’s label relations manager Corbyn Asbury, BBC Introducing presenter Shereen Cutkelvin, National Theatre of Scotland’s CEO and artistic director Jackie Wylie, and comedian Paul Black amongst others who will reconvene to decide on this year’s prizewinner.

This year’s award ceremony will be celebrated at Stirling’s Albert Halls on Thursday, October 20 in an evening of announcements and live performances.

Robert Kilpatrick, creative director of the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) and The SAY Award, said: “The SAY Award Shortlist recognises ten of the best Scottish records of the last year, firmly showcasing the strength and diversity of Scotland’s recorded output in 2022. 

“In just two weeks’ time, we’ll be celebrating and championing each of these records at Stirling’s Albert Halls, with one set to take the coveted title of Scottish Album of the Year along with the £20,000 first prize. Massive congratulations and best of luck to all Shortlisted artists.”

“Five young and emerging artists have been selected by a panel of former SAY nominees as finalists for the Sound of Young Scotland Award, with one set to receive a funding package worth up to £5,000 to help create their debut record.”

In addition to the Shortlist announcement, The SAY Award announced its Modern Scottish Classic Award Winner for 2022 as ‘Heaven or Las Vegas’ by Cocteau Twins. 

Simon Raymonde, bassist of Cocteau Twins, said: “When I was invited to join the band in January 1984, I just knew from the first session that we wrote music together that this was going to be a special time in my life and Elizabeth and Robin could not have made me feel more ‘at home’ and I was never made to feel like the odd (English) man out.

“What I couldn’t have known was the impact our music was going to have, and ‘Heaven Or Las Vegas’ the subject of this wonderful accolade from SAY. Even 32 years after its release it seems to keep finding new fans, without the aid of any reunion tours, marketing campaigns or fancy reissues.

“It is without doubt a great privilege to have been part of this band with two of the most talented Scottish musicians of the last 50 years, for such a big part of my life, and I am still moved by the reaction that ‘Heaven or Las Vegas’ in particular continues to have. The award is humbling, and I am grateful to everyone who chose this over so many other wonderful possibilities.” 

The next generation of Scottish musical talent is also recognised for a second year, with the announcement of the five Sound of Young Scotland Finalists, ahead of the winner announcement at the Stirling ceremony.

The winner will be decided by a panel of previous SAY Award nominees with the winner receiving a funding package worth up to £5,000 to support the creation of their debut album, including recording time at Tolbooth Stirling.

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