Now in its sixth year, The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award aims to recognise the most deserving albums released from Scotland, highlighting innovation and talent across the country. With previous winners including RM Hubbert and Young Fathers, this year's longlist once again represents an array of talent. With a £20,000 grand prize on the line, and £1,000 for each of the shortlisted artists, this is one of the UK's most substantial music awards.
In a first the organisers have opted to celebrate live music explicitly, by hosting an event to announce the longlist, featuring performances by three previous nominees. With a playlist of Scottish music providing the backdrop, Steve Mason, Admiral Fallow and Mungo's Hi Fi played sets showcasing the prowess of Scottish artists beyond their recordings.
After an exciting introduction to the event, Steve Mason entertained the crowd with a set of his enjoyable political acoustic guitar jams. With insightful and hard-hitting lyrics, Mason's melodic guitar playing really lifts the melancholy about society, and it's no surprise he's had numerous nominations for this very award.
Admiral Fallow followed with their first performance in Glasgow for a while, and their expansive brand of chamber pop was a captivating as always, using harmonies and dynamics to enthrall the crowd. Laced with some sincere crowd interaction, they're undoubtedly one of Scottish musical assets and a wonderful addition to the bill.
With everyone suitably comfortable, it was time for the main event, the longlist announcement. Representing many flavours of Scotland's musical landscape, you can find the twenty albums below (in alphabetical album by artist):
Adam Holmes and The Embers – Brighter Still
C Duncan – The Midnight Sun
Ela Orleans – Circles of Upper and Lower Hell
Fatherson – Open Book
Frightened Rabbit – Painting of a Panic Attack
Honeyblood – Babes Never Die
The Jesus and Mary Chain – Damage and Joy
King Creosote – Astronaut Meets Appleman
Konx-om-Pax – Caramel
Meursault – I Will Kill Again
Modern Studies – Swell To Great
Mogwai – Atomic
Pictish Trail – Future Echoes
Rachel Newton – Here's My Heart Come Take It
RM Hubbert – Telling The Trees
Sacred Paws – Strike A Match
Starless – Starless
Teenage Fanclub – Here
TeenCanteen – Say It All With A Kiss
Vukovi – Vukovi
Accompanied by YT, Mungo's Hi Fi then closed out the night with some party-worthy beats. Whilst the crowd thinned out fast following the announcement, perhaps there were trains to catch or this just isn't everyone's cup of tea, enough people remained to dance heartily to the music on offer.
With a successful "launch night" completed, the next stages of 2017's SAY Award can begin. From here the 20 albums will be whittled to 10, nine chosen by a panel of judges and the other by popular public vote on 12-14 June. Following the shortlist announcement on 15 June, the winner will be announced at Paisley Town Hall on 28 June at the final ceremony.