Young Fathers could become the first band to win the prestigious Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award twice, as their critically-acclaimed LP Cocoa Sugar was tonight named on the prize’s longlist.
The Leith-based group, who are outspoken supporters of Edinburgh’s live music scene, are among 20 artists in the running to claim the £20,000 first prize.
Now in its seventh year, the SAY Award was established to raise the profile of the music industry north of the Border and champion musicians performing in a variety of styles.
A panel of 100 taste-makers selected the 20 albums on the longlist, which were revealed at a ceremony at the legendary King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut venue in Glasgow.
Also in the running are post-rock titans Mogwai, who released their ninth studio album, Every Country’s Sun, last year.
Franz Ferdinand are also among the big names to reach the longlist, thanks to their latest album Always Ascending.
But with the SAY Award, it’s the lesser-known artists who often end up claiming the top prize.
Among the younger bands to be nominated for the first time are Neon Waltz, a six-piece indie rock based in and around John O’Groats in the far north of Scotland.
They are a favourite of Noel Gallagher, and have supported the former Oasis guitarists at a variety of venues across the UK.
Martha Ffion, an Irish singer-songwriter now based in Glasgow, is also nominated for her debut album, Sunday Best.
“It was written and recorded entirely in Glasgow, which has always been my creative home,” she said. “Finally releasing my debut album has been an amazing experience, topped off by this.”
Robert Kilpatrick, general manager at the Scottish Music Industry Association, said: “This year’s longlist celebrates another 20 incredibly strong, diverse and important contemporary Scottish records.
“It was great to reveal these tonight at King Tut’s in Glasgow, to an audience featuring artists, industry and music fans from across the country.”
Alan Morrison, head of music at Creative Scotland, said the SAY Award shone a spotlight on new artists, providing career-changing moments for past winners such as Kathryn Joseph and Young Fathers, who first won the award in 2014 for Tape Two.
“It is encouraging to see so many debut and second albums on this year’s list – a recognition of the fantastic new generation of talent that’s pouring out of Scotland,” he added.
“This award is also a vindication for independent labels whose releases continue to overshadow the majors when it comes to sheer quality of music“.
The longlist will be whittled down to 10 albums – one chosen by music fans via a 72-hour online vote - and the other nine chosen by a panel of independent judges.
The shortlist will be announced on August 23, with the award ceremony itself taking place on Thursday, September 6 at Paisley Town Hall.
The 2018 SAY Award longlist
1. Adam Holmes and The Embers – Midnight Milk
2. BABE – Kiss & Tell
3. Best Girl Athlete – Best Girl Athlete
4. Blue Rose Code – The Water of Leith
5. Catholic Action – In Memory Of
6. Chris Stout and Catriona McKay – Bare Knuckle
7. Elephant Sessions – All We Have Is Now
8. Franz Ferdinand – Always Ascending
9. Golden Teacher – No Luscious Life
10. Happy Meals – Full Ashram Devotional Ceremony (Volumes IV - VI)
11. Karine Polwart with Pippa Murphy – A Pocket Of Wind Resistance
12. Kobi Onyame – Gold
13. Martha Ffion – Sunday Best
14. Mogwai – Every Country’s Sun
15. Neon Waltz – Strange Hymns
16. Out Lines – Conflats
17. Pronto Mama – Any Joy
18. Siobhan Wilson – There Are No Saints
19. The Spook School – Could It Be Different
20. Young Fathers – Cocoa Sugar