Scottish Album of the Year Award long list revealed

Mogwai: one of 20 artists in contention for first ever SAY award
Mogwai: one of 20 artists in contention for first ever SAY award

The long list for the first Scottish Album of the Year Award – Scotland’s equivalent to the Mercury Music Prize – has been revealed, including the likes of Mogwai, King Creosote & Jon Hopkins, Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat, Twin Atlantic, We Were Promised Jetpacks and more.

The list features the 20 highest scoring titles to emerge from the award’s nomination process, and ranges from jazz to reggae sound systems via folk, electronica, house, rock, dub and modern classical.

The Scottish Album of the Year Long List is (in alphabetical order):

  • 6th Borough Project – “One Night In the Borough”
  • Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat – “Everything’s Getting Older”
  • Bwani Junction – “Fully Cocked”
  • Chris Stout’s Brazilian Theory – “Live In Concert”
  • Conquering Animal Sound – “Kammerspiel”
  • FOUND – “factorycraft”
  • Fudge Fingas – “Now About How”
  • Happy Particles – “Under Sleeping Waves”
  • Jonny – “Jonny”
  • King Creosote & Jon Hopkins –          “Diamond Mine”
  • Mogwai – “Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will”
  • Mungo’s Hi Fi – “Forward Ever”
  • Muscles Of Joy – “Muscles Of Joy”
  • Remember Remember – “The Quickening”
  • Richard Craig – “Inward”
  • Rustie – “Glass Swords”
  • Steve Mason & Dennis Bovell – “Ghosts Outside”
  • Tommy Smith – “Karma”
  • Twin Atlantic – “Free”
  • We Were Promised Jetpacks – “In The Pit Of the Stomach”

Aidan Moffat said of the awards: "Scotland's not very good at blowing its own trumpet, but it's about time we had our own award to celebrate the overabundance of brilliant and diverse music we make every year.

“For such a small country we produce an inordinate amount of great – and very successful – music, and hopefully this award means that we can be unashamedly proud about it for a few weeks every year."

Of the nomination, King Creosote said: "Jon Hopkins and I are proud as punch to end up on the long list for the newest and coolest of prizes, the SAY Award.

“Of all the awards Diamond Mine has been nominated for and subsequently lost, losing this one will smart most."

Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai said: "We're extremely honoured and proud to have made the long list for the inaugural Scottish Album of the Year Award.

“There is an abundance of great music being produced in Scotland every year and I hope that this new award helps us celebrate it and share it."

As well as featuring critically lauded albums such as from King Creosote & Jon Hopkins, the long list also features the likes of The Happy Particles, whose album was previously only available as a download from their Bandcamp page, while Muscles of Joy’s eponymous debut was released on vinyl only. 

Both artists’ albums will now be awarded CD manufacturing runs with production costs covered (in the short-term) by the SAY Award, to help them capitalise on any heightened profile – and have their CDs racked alongside other nominated titles.

Andrew Dixon, chief executive of Creative Scotland, said: “In such a nation of music lovers, it’s no surprise that The Scottish Album of the Year Award is such an eclectic and entertaining list and brimming with talent.

“In this Year of Creative Scotland, the Awards are a brilliant way to raise the profile of our musicians. Congratulations to all of the artists!”

On May 14 the public will be vote for their favourite album from the long list to earn a guaranteed slot on the short list, and three days later the long list will be whittled down to a short list of ten by a panel of judges. 

The winning album will be announced on June 19, earning a grand prize of £20,000, while the nine runners-up each receive £1,000. 

All 10 short listed finalists will receive an artwork from the winner of a unique SAY Award art commission: celebrating the enduring links that exist between music and art through the provision of a £20,000 art commission offered to graduates from Scotland’s four principal art schools.  The winning graduate (selected, in this pilot year, from Glasgow’s School of Art) will produce ten artworks to be donated as prizes for the short-listed finalists.


  • "I am delighted to have made the long list of this exciting new award for Scottish Album of the year. To have an award which represents all music types equally is a great step forward in the way our music is presented to the wider public. I hope and believe this award will go from strength to strength and continue to bring more awareness of the huge wealth of music we have in this country"  Chris Stout
  • "We are completely astounded that we managed to make this list at all, considering we put the album out ourselves on bandcamp and had little publicity surrounding it.  I think it goes to show the SAY award is not just another 'pat on the back for the lads' type award.” Steven Kane, Happy Particles
  • "To be nominated is both an accolade and a much appreciated recognition of my work on INWARD. The longlist will be a vital juncture allowing artists to reach a wider audience and bringing attention to the independents like myself who work in Scotland."  Richard Craig
  • "FOUND are truly flattered that ‘factorycraft’ has been long listed and is keeping company with some albums from 2011 that we personally consider to be absolute belters.  We’re also delighted to be part of an initiative that will help advance the value of music in Scotland." Ziggy Campbell, FOUND
  • "The nomination was a real surprise for us to be honest. I've never considered the impact of our music in Scotland as we tend to get more interest elsewhere, so it's really nice to feel that something has clicked at home too."  Graeme Clark, 6th Borough Project
  • "With ‘Kammerspiel’ coming out at the start of 2011, it's really cool that the judges have remembered it, and nominated us for this award.  Scotland is a small place, but is home to a wealth of artistic talent, it is exciting to see this award come to life, celebrating musical and artistic talent in this country.  We're really pleased to be nominated for the first award, hopefully the first of many!" James Scott, Conquering Animal Sound
  • "I am so very honoured and flabbergasted to be considered for the long list.  This recognition will go a long way to cradling the miniscule and spontaneous genre I represent.  Many congratulations to the SMIA for supporting Scotland with this brave new initiative.  I wish everyone great success and many thanks for the vote of confidence."  Tommy Smith
  • "Super happy to be considered for this award, recognition is always nice but this is particularly special as it's from my homeland."  Rustie
  • "We are extremely honoured to be on the long list of contenders for the inaugural Scottish Album of the Year Award. This is a fantastic platform for Scottish artists who are sometimes overlooked for more UK wide accolades.  We hope this award that will grow to rival the UK’s more established awards."  Ross McNae, Twin Atlantic
  • “We have generally shunned the music industry establishment as much as it has ignored us.  So we were surprised and pleased to hear that we had been nominated for Scottish Album of the Year.  At a time when Scotland is becoming known for its vibrant reggae scene and given how Jamaica has been largely overlooked in the great homecoming, it is a great opportunity to celebrate our rich cultural links with the Caribbean.”  Doug Paine, Mungo’s Hi Fi
  • "That our latest collection of cosmic jams is considered to be amongst the best Scottish albums of the year is a quite unexpected bolt from the blue but we are all thrilled and excited to have been included in the Long List." Remember Remember
  • “Great for Scottish music and chuffed that 'Fully Cocked' measured up against a formidable longlist.” Bwani Junction

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