The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award – Scotland’s national music prize – today announces the twenty outstanding albums that have earned a place on the 2022 Longlist; whittled down from a record breaking 369 eligible record submissions by 100 impartial music industry Nominators. Each Longlisted album is now in the running for the coveted SAY Award title and £20,000 first prize, with the winner to be announced at The SAY Award 2022 Ceremony taking place at Stirling’s Albert Halls on Thursday 20th October. This year’s twenty-strong longlist features one of the most diverse genre spreads in the eleven years of the award, showcasing Scotland’s eclectic musical landscape and highlighting a range of subcultures and artistic styles.
The announcement comes as 2022’s host city, Stirling, celebrates with a free exhibition taking place at award-winning music venue The Tolbooth. Music fans can explore the 20 enlarged album artworks and use QR codes for an experiential discovery of the Longlist. The exhibition will provide a focal point for celebrating the records in the lead up to next month’s Ceremony where one will be announced as Scottish Album of the Year.
In alphabetical order, The SAY Award Longlist for 2022 is as follows:
· AiiTee – ‘Better Days’
· Andrew Wasylyk – ‘Balgay Hill: Morning In Magnolia’
· Annie Booth – ‘Lazybody’
· Bemz – ‘M4’
· C Duncan – ‘Alluvium’
· Callum Easter – ‘System’
· Constant Follower – ‘Neither Is, Nor Ever Was’
· Declan Welsh and the Decadent West – ‘It’s Been A Year’
· Duncan Lyall – ‘Milestone’
· 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’
· The Ninth Wave – ‘Heavy Like a Headache’
· Niteworks – ‘A’Ghrian’
· Proc Fiskal – ‘Siren Spine Sysex’
· Rebecca Vasmant – ‘With Love, From Glasgow’
· Seonaid Aitken Ensemble – ‘Chasing Sakura’
· Walt Disco – ‘Unlearning’
Robert Kilpatrick, Creative Director of the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) / The SAY Award, said: “Following a record-breaking 369 eligible album submissions, we’re delighted to announce the 20 outstanding records in the running for 2022’s Scottish Album of the Year Award.
As Scotland’s national music prize, The SAY Award exists to celebrate the cultural impact and contribution of our nation’s recorded output. 2022’s Longlist presents a dynamic and diverse collection of albums which spans multiple genres and showcases both established and rising talent from across the country. Despite the turbulence of recent times, the enduring impact and resonance of the album format remains. As vehicles of both self-discovery and connection with others, their power to ground, inspire and unite us is perhaps more important than ever.
As we now approach our 2022 Ceremony at Stirling’s Albert Halls next month, we look forward to championing Scotland’s ever evolving music scene and unique cultural identity; recognising the value and magic of music in our lives.”
Convener of Stirling Council’s Community Planning and Regeneration Committee, Cllr Gerry McGarvey said: “Congratulations to all the amazing artists from across Scotland that have made the longlist for this prestigious musical award.
“To reach this stage in the competition is an achievement in itself and it’s fantastic to have so many Stirling-based artists, and artists that have their roots in The Tolbooth’s Music Development workshops, in the final 20, demonstrating the area’s dynamic and diverse music scene.
“To celebrate the longlist announcement, we have created a special interactive exhibition in The Tolbooth where people can sample the best of Scottish music in 2022.
“In just over a month one of these incredible records will be recognised as Scottish Album of the Year in the Albert Halls Stirling, and today’s milestone signals the countdown is on to an exciting and inspiring night.”
The SAY Award Longlist is the product of an extraordinary nationwide consultation, encapsulating the strength and diversity of Scotland’s music scene. 369 eligible album submissions were whittled down to the 20-strong Longlist by 100 impartial music industry nominators, populated by constituencies of people with backgrounds in certain sectors and genre specialisms. The newly announced Longlist will be further whittled down to a final 10 albums to make up this year’s Shortlist, one of which will be chosen by music fans in a 72-hour online public vote. From 3 – 5 October, music fans have the chance to ensure their favourite album from the Longlist makes it onto the Shortlist by voting at www.sayaward.com with the remaining 9 albums chosen by an esteemed judging panel.
This year’s SAY Award judging panel includes the likes of John Niven (Author), Jackie Wylie (CEO/Artistic Director, National Theatre of Scotland), Anneliese Harmon (General Manager, Music Managers Forum) and Khaleda Noon(Executive Director, Intercultural Youth Scotland), as well as writer, director and comedian Paul Black who presented the inaugural Sound of Young Scotland Award at last year’s SAY Award Ceremony to rising electronic singer/producer LVRA.
The 2022 Longlist honours both SAY Award alumni and new albums from emerging artists. 2015 winner Kathryn Joseph – whose debut album ‘Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood I’ve Spilled’ earned her The SAY Awardacclaim – is once again in the running alongside past nominees Declan Welsh & The Decadent West, The Ninth Wave, Callum Easter, Kobi Onyame and Fergus McCreadie (who also gained a coveted Mercury Prize nomination this year). The Longlist also recognises new music resonating in the Scottish scene, from Hen Hoose’s eclectic debut, to Glasgow glam-rockers Walt Disco, and the modern, seductive jazz of Rebecca Vasmant.
As Scotland’s most prestigious music prize, The SAY Award winner will take away not only the coveted Scottish Album of the Year title but also a £20,000prize that is among the most lucrative in the UK. The nine runners-up also take away £1,000 each as well as a bespoke award created by a local Stirling artist commissioned by The SAY Award. The winner will be exclusively announced at this year’s Ceremony, taking place at the Albert Halls, Stirling in a celebration of Scottish music – past, present and future – and featuring exclusive live performances along with celebrations of the 2022’s nominees. As one of the most exciting nights in Scotland’s musical calendar, the Ceremony can now be attended by music fans, with tickets available to purchase here.
Returning for a second year, the Scottish Album of the Year Award will once again be accompanied by the Sound of Young Scotland Award and the Modern Scottish Classic Award. The Sound of Young Scotland Award – supported by Ticketmaster, Youth Music Initiative and Youth Music – aims to highlight the best of the country’s emerging musical talent, with the winner taking home a funding package worth up to £5,000 to facilitate the creation of their debut album. The winner will be chosen by a judging panel made up of previous SAY Award nominees, including Stina Tweeddale (Honeyblood), TAAHLIAH, Jubemi Iyiku (Bemz) and Declan Welsh (Declan Welsh and the Decadent West), and announced at The SAY Award ceremony. The Modern Scottish Classic Award – in association with YouTube Music – recognises an iconic album from Scotland’s past that still inspires today. The 20 SAY Award Longlisted artists announced today will together decide this year’s winner, announced on 6th October, and celebrated at the Ceremony on the 20th.
The legacy of the last Modern Scottish Classic winners, Frightened Rabbit, continues through this year’s charity partnership with Tiny Changes, set up in memory of late frontman Scott Hutchinson. Other partners for 2022 include Creative Scotland, Stirling Council, Stirling Alive With Scotland, YouTube Music, Go Forth, Ticketmaster, PPL, Youth Music Initiative, Youth Music and Music Declares Emergency. The SAY Award is developed and produced by the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), with accessibility, inclusivity and diversity at the heart of their flagship project. The criteria for SAY Awardeligibility is six tracks and/or 30 minutes, with the aim of eliminating socio-cultural barriers for artists and embracing genres that typically favour short-form bodies of work.
Returning for its 11th edition – and its Stirling debut – previous winners of The SAY Award include Mogwai ‘As The Love Continues’ (2021), 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 date, The SAY Award has distributed over £300,000 in prize money across ten previous campaigns, and 2022 is set to further amplify Scottish musical talent to a global audience.