Scotland’s national music prize, The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award, have officially announced the twenty outstanding albums which have made it onto this year’s coveted Longlist:

  1. Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert – Here Lies The Body
  2. Aidan O’Rourke – 365: Vol. 1
  3. Andrew Wasylyk – The Paralian
  4. Auntie Flo – Radio Highlife
  5. Brìghde Chaimbeul – The Reeling
  6. C Duncan – Health
  7. Carla J. Easton – Impossible Stuff
  8. CHVRCHES – Love Is Dead
  9. Edwyn Collins – Badbea
  10. Fatherson – Sum Of All Your Parts
  11. Fergus McCreadie Trio – Turas
  12. Free Love – Luxury Hits
  13. Graham Costello’s Strata– Obelisk
  14. Karine Polwart with Steven Polwart and Inge Thomson– Laws of Motion
  15. Kathryn Joseph – From When I Wake The Want Is
  16. Kinnaris Quintet – Free One
  17. Mastersystem – Dance Music
  18. Niteworks – Air Fàir an Là
  19. Sean Shibe – softLOUD
  20. The Twilight Sad – It Won/t Be Like This All Of The Time

Speaking about the Longlist announcement, General Manager of the SMIA Robert Kilpatrick said:

“Each year, the announcement of The SAY Award Longlist allows us to take a step back and feel proud of our cultural identity as a nation. It gives us a chance to both shout about and reflect on who we are, as well as celebrate the passion, creativity and vibrancy of Scottish music; in all its incredible diversity and glory.

“With the Longlist having been selected from the votes of 100 impartial music industry Nominators, it truly is the product of an extraordinary nationwide consultation and showcases 20 incredible Scottish records to the world that are both important and valued artistic works.

“A huge congratulations to each of this year’s Longlisted artists on fantastic album releases.”

Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland said: “This is quite simply the best, most diverse, most exciting longlist yet assembled for The SAY Award. To think that a set of albums as strong as this could be released in Scotland in a single year is exceptional – and that’s before you realise how many other brilliant recordings were eligible. This year’s Longlist is hard proof that Scotland is making excellent music in every genre. Our veterans are writing songs that are better than ever while a whole new generation of talent is sweeping onto the scene. It’s not just that every album here is a winner in its own right, it’s the fact that the sum total of this list places Scotland as one of the most vital, vigorous music-making countries in the world.”



Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert said: “We’re very happy to find ourselves on this year’s SAY Longlist – in just a few years it’s become an essential celebration of Scotland’s huge and diverse musical output, and we’re looking forward to discovering a few new names too.”

Aidan O’Rourke said: “I am delighted ‘365’ is included in The SAY Award Longlist. This music is about storytelling – how to tell stories without saying too much. James Robertson wrote a story every day for a year, and each one was exactly 365 words. It began as an exercise but soon it became an essential ritual. James found the discipline addictive and he emerged a year later with a beautiful collection of tales. They are big stories, real stories, mysterious stories, old and new and weird and tender stories.”

Andrew Wasylyk said: “As winter slipped into spring last year I’d just resurfaced from a concentrated period of writing and recording what was fast becoming ‘The Paralian’. I was happy and relieved with how the songs had evolved, but the search for a label soon grew into a struggle and I began to wonder if the recordings would ever see the light of day. I’m grateful to Athens Of The North for believing in it and, if I’m honest, to be nominated has come as a complete shock. The quality and depth of Scottish work on the Longlist started strongly seven years ago and has only flourished since. To be invited to play a wee role in that story is deeply humbling and a privilege. Thank you for listening.”

Auntie Flo said: “Radio Highlife is a result of seven years of musical collaborations and sonic adventures with dozens of amazing people I’ve had the fortune to meet on my travels as a DJ. It is great that the album has been recognised for this year’s SAY Longlist.”

Brìghde Chaimbeul said: “I am delighted that ‘The Reeling’ has been included in this year’s SAY Award Longlist. It was a real privilege to bring these old tunes to life with some incredible musicians and it is a joy for me to have them heard.”

C Duncan said: “I am extremely happy to be Longlisted for The SAY Award. ‘Health’ is a very personal record to me, so it is both humbling and exciting to be involved in the awards, for which I am very grateful.”

Carla J. Easton said:  “The last year has seen some outstanding releases from Scotland with huge

international reach. I’m astonished my little ‘Impossible Stuff’ has been Longlisted for The SAY Award and continue to be blown away by the response. I’m very thankful to be included within Scotland’s incredible music community.”

Fatherson said: “It is an honour to have Sum Of All Your Parts Longlisted for Scottish Album of The Year. The award helps celebrate some of the most exciting music being made in Scotland, and we’re delighted to be involved for the third time amongst great company.”

Fergus McCreadie Trio said: “I’m very excited to be part of The SAY Award this year. Jazz is something that is really up and coming in Scotland’s music scene today, and to be representing that burgeoning scene is truly an honour.”

Free Love said: “We are extremely honoured to have Luxury Hits included in this year’s SAY award. A lot of love and energy went into this record which was recorded at home. We would like to dedicate this nomination to our neighbour, Ed, who told us that he actually studied music at university and that our music was a load of shite.”

Graham Costello’s Strata said: “It’s wonderful and very inspiring to be included in this year’s SAY Award Longlist with our debut album. As an artist looking to merge the underground scene with the jazz scene, to be acknowledged for what we are doing is a great feeling and reinforces the band’s ethos of bringing our style of music to as many people as possible.”

Karine Polwart said: “I always look forward to The SAY Longlist. Every year it introduces me to brilliant new music from right across the spectrum of genres and styles. I’m really chuffed to be included on the list for a second consecutive year for a collaborative album project. And I’m delighted that this time it’s with Inge Thomson and my brother Steven Polwart, who’ve been my regular creative bandmates for 15 years.”

Kathryn Joseph said: “I am so proud to be on The SAY Longlist and so proud to be part of this small beautiful country that makes so much great and beautiful noise. Thank you and thank you.”

Kinnaris Quintet said: “The last couple of years have been an incredible journey for Kinnaris Quintet. We’ve been given some incredible opportunities, and we’re so appreciative of the amazing team of creative friends who have helped us along the way. Our music and our band are driven by the five of us from our home, Glasgow, and we’re so proud to have our work included in the prestigious SAY Award!”

Grant Hutchison from Mastersystem said: “It’s so great to make it on to the SAY Award Longlist. This album was so much fun to make and even more fun to tour. I think we all felt like teenage versions of ourselves just making noise and having a laugh”.

Niteworks said: “We’re delighted to be included on The SAY Award Longlist and to see our brand of Gaelic electronica recognised in such a strong Scottish music scene.”

Sean Shibe said: “I’m hugely proud of what I put down on this album and it makes me UTTERLY ECSTATIC to see it receive this level of recognition, especially as part of a Longlist that encompasses all genres of music. I’ve seen friends and colleagues pass through the hallowed doors of SAY and it’s immeasurably flattering to share in this rich heritage.”

The Twilight Sad said: “Every year Scotland produces some of my favourite records, for such a small nation we consistently produce exciting and important music. For our new record to be included in the Longlist for The SAY Award with so many other amazing Scottish artists is something we’re incredibly proud of. The album as an art form is very important to us; it’s a snapshot of who we are at a certain point of our lives, a documentation of who we are. For it to be celebrated is an amazing thing. Celebrating music and helping music reach new people is important for both listeners and artists. Thank you to The SAY Award for helping spread the word about all the brilliant music our country produces and thank you for including us.”


After another huge year for Scottish music, The SAY Award has moved to Edinburgh for the very first time. This year’s Live at the Longlist event took place at The Queen’s Hall to coincide with its 40th anniversary celebrations while the final ceremony will relocate to the revered Assembly Rooms on Friday 6th September.

The SAY Award celebrates, promotes and rewards the incredible strength and diversity of Scottish music and a remarkable293 album submissions were narrowed down by 100 valued and impartial nominators who were all asked to vote for their favourite new releases. Spanning a wide range of contemporary music genres and styles, the results were exclusively revealed in front of a live audience at The Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh by hosts Vic Galloway and Nicola Meighan at a very special Live at the Longlist event.

Now in its eighth year, The SAY Award celebrates the most outstanding Scottish albums each year, regardless of sales, genre or label affiliation. The newly announced Longlist, which recognises artistic achievement across a wide range of genres, will be whittled down to a Shortlist of 10 albums next month, one of which will be chosen by music fans via a 72-hour online public vote from 12th August and the others decided by The SAY Award judging panel. The winning artist will pick up a £20,000 cash prize, provided by award partner Creative Scotland, with the 9 runners up each being awarded £1,000. Earlier this week, The SAY Award revealed the nominators and judges lists feature a 50:50 gender split.

This year’s Live at the Longlist was in aid of Help Musicians Scotland, with all proceeds going to the them as The SAY Award’s charity partner for 2019.

The 72-hour public vote opens on 12th August, closing on 14th August before the Shortlist is announced on 15th August as part of a special BBC Radio Scotland show from 9pm. The award ceremony itself returns to Edinburgh to the opulent Assembly Rooms on 6th September.

Developed by the Scottish Music Industry Association, 2019’s campaign is delivered in partnership with Creative Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council, YouTube Music, Harviestoun Brewery, Ticketmaster New Music, PPL, Sweetdram, The Queen’s Hall and charity partner Help Musicians Scotland.

Previous winners of The SAY Award include 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).

Follow The SAY Award’s 2019 journey on Twitter @SAYaward, Instagram @sayaward and Facebook @SAYaward