The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award 2013

SAY logoThe 20-strong long-list for this year’s Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award is announced this morning, and it looks bloody magic. I’ve written about it and spoken to some of the nominated artists for today’s Herald newspaper.

I’ve also interviewed most of the nominees over the past year, so here’s an overview of the 20 long-playing wonders, and the sage folks behind them.

Admiral Fallow, Tree Bursts In Snow
(Herald Interview)
Ace second album from Glasgow-based chamber-pop ensemble fronted by bearded archangel Louis Abbott.
fallow tree bursts
Django Django, Django Django
(Herald Interview / Herald Live Review)
Sun-warped debut from kaleidoscopic-pop four-piece who formed in Auld Reekie but conjure surf-rock, 60s sci-fi and vintage exotica.

Emeli Sandé, Our Version of Events
(Herald Arts Magazine Interview, November 2010 – this was Sande’s first cover feature.)
Interstellar soul-pop debut from Aberdeenshire singer-songwriter, and the UK’s best-selling album of 2012.

Errors, Have Some Faith In Magic
(Herald Interview / List Interview)
Euphoric and life-affirming third album from Glasgow electro-sorcerors Errors, signed to Mogwai’s superlative Rock Action imprint. A trio whose name is synonymous with synth-propelled melodic rapture.


Human Don’t Be Angry, Human Don’t Be Angry
(Herald Interview / The Quietus Interview / List Album Review)
Tangerine Dream, ZTT and Top Gun romance, FALKIRK-STYLE: it’s the debut art-pop odyssey from Arab Strap man Malcolm Middleton’s alter-ego, Human Don’t Be Angry.


Karine Polwart, Traces
(Herald Interview/ List Album Review)
Exquisite, poetic album of love and loss and lyrical protest from Banknock folk chronicler and indie collaborator, produced by Iain Cook of fellow nominees The Unwinding Hours (and rising superstars, Chvrches).

karine_polwart - traces
Konrad Wiszniewski and Euan Stevenson, New Focus
(Herald Interview)
Takes Stan Getz’s classic 1961 jazz suite, Focus, as its departure point, and reanimates it in a contemporary Scottish context that embraces classical music, jazz, improv, cinematic sound-tracks and pop.

new focus Meursault, Something For The Weakened
(Herald Interview / List Album Review)
Bruised alt-folk arias and incendiary chamber-rock anthems on this excellent second album from Edinburgh grassroots indie conquerors.

Miaoux Miaoux, Light of the North
(Herald Interview)
Four Tet, Fleetwood Mac, Venetian Snares, Autechre, 90s Trance and Pink Floyd go some way to illuminating electro-pop livewire Miaoux Miaoux’s rampant charms on his radiant debut, Light Of The North.


Paul Buchanan, Mid Air
Herald 2012 Rock and Pop Round-up)
Stunning urban eulogy from fragile-larynxed Blue Nile frontman on his first solo outing.

PAWS, Cokefloat!
(Herald Interview)
Loveable lo-fi power-pop from voluble grunge-toting wunderkinds who cross huggable punk with primal roar – sorry, *ROAR* – to fierce effect.

paws RM Hubbert, 13 Lost & Found
(The Quietus Interview / Herald Interview)
An exceptional album from nylon-strung punk, and former El Hombre Trajeado dreamboat, RM Hubbert which traces Glasgow’s DIY history through musical friendships and includes collaborations with Alex Kapranos, Alasdair Roberts, Hanna Tuulikki, Aidan Moffat and Emma Pollock, among others.


Stanley Odd, Reject
(Herald Interview / List Album Review)
Second album of cerebral, socio-political hip-hop from six-strong Edinburgh-based ensemble with an electrifying knack for a self-reflective rhyme and a pop hook.

The Twilight Sad, No One Can Ever Know
(Herald Interview)
Thrilling, ear-battering third installment of industrial pop and disquieting synth anthems from outstanding Kilsyth alt-rockers in cahoots with anti-producer, Andrew Weatherall.

The Unwinding Hours, Afterlives
The Quietus Album Review)
Beatific magnum opus from members of Aereogramme, Ganger and Chvrches. A gilded post-rock masterpiece which says, in so many ways: take your time.


Lau, Race the Loser
(Herald SAY longlist announcement)
Traditional psalms and exploratory folk-pop pursuits on this gorgeous third album from outstanding contemporary folk three-piece.


Dam Mantle, Brothers Fowl
(Herald SAY longlist announcement)
Ambient jazz and psychedelic electronica from day-glo Glasgow tech-alchemist Dam Mantle, signed to Gold Panda’s Notown Recordings.


Auntie Flo, Future Rhythm Machine
(Herald SAY longlist announcement)
Tropical-house, Afro-Latin grooves and deeeeep UK Bass on this vibrant debut from ace Glasgow machine-seducer, Auntie Flo.


Duncan Chisholm, Affric
(Herald SAY longlist announcement)
Contemporary fiddle music from Inverness composer and Wolfstone founder; the final installment in his acclaimed Strathglass trilogy.

affricCalvin Harris, 18 Months
(Herald SAY longlist announcement)
Dumfries super-producer Calvin Harris, conquered Michael Jackson’s chart record earlier this week, when his SAY-nominated 18 Months album became the first-ever to spawn eight Top 10 hits (thus beating Jacko’s previous seven, for Bad). Beat it, indeed.

For more information on this year’s SAY Award, go here.

Related articles:
2012 Rock and Pop Round-up, The Herald
2012 SAY Award long-list and interviews

This entry was posted in Interviews, Journalism, writing etc, Reviews (Albums). Bookmark the permalink.

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