THE longlist for Scottish Album of the Year was unveiled last night with 20 acts considered for the top prize.

Vistas, Honeyblood, Anna Meredith, Blanck Mass and The Ninth Wave are among those on the list. They join Bossy Love, Fat-Suit, Free Love, Mezcla, Comfort, Cloth and NOVA.

Lewis Capaldi is included along with Callum Easter, Elephant Sessions, Erland Cooper, Karine Polwart, SHHE, Declan Welsh & the Decadent West, and Sacred Paws.

Robert Kilpatrick, general manager of the SMIA, said: “2020 is the ninth year of The SAY Award, marking what is undoubtedly our most important campaign to date.

"As we all continue to navigate the personal and professional challenges we face, celebrating may feel unnatural for many of us.

"For our music community especially, which heavily relies on physical spaces and people coming together, 2020 has presented a vast array of challenges that last year were unimaginable.

"But as we celebrate our culture, we help further articulate its value, and we draw more eyes and ears to some of the best new music Scotland has to offer."

He added: "This year’s Longlist showcases 20 outstanding albums, and it is arguably the most diverse range of albums of any SAY Award Longlist to date.  Never have we been prouder to announce the Longlist, and never more than now has it felt truly special and important to do so.

"A huge congratulations to each of this year’s nominees, and a heartfelt thank you to our partners’ incredible commitment to championing Scottish music at a time it’s never been more needed.”

The list of albums:-

Anna Meredith - FIBS
Blanck Mass - Animated Violence Mild
Bossy Love - Me + U
Callum Easter - Here Or Nowhere
Cloth - Cloth
Comfort - Not Passing
Declan Welsh & The Decadent West - Cheaply Bought, Expensively Sold
Elephant Sessions - What Makes You
Erland Cooper - Sule Skerry
Fat-Suit - Waifs & Strays
Free Love - Extreme Dance Anthems
Honeyblood - In Plain Sight
Karine Polwart - Karine Polwart's Scottish Songbook
Lewis Capaldi - Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent
Mezcla - Shoot the Moon
The Ninth Wave - Infancy
Sacred Paws - Run Around The Sun
Vistas - Everything Changes In The End

Alan Morrison, head of music at Creative Scotland, said: “In this year like no other, music has given us the strength to get through whatever life has thrown at us.

"Scotland’s musicians have shown us, time and time again, that their creativity can thrive in the most difficult circumstances. These 20 albums were recorded when Covid-19 wasn’t even a blip on the horizon but there’s a glorious thread of that same creativity running through them all.

"This thread pulls together different genres, binds debut artists and seasoned stars, and makes The SAY Award such a wonderful expression of Scotland’s world-class musical talent.”

Following a turbulent few months in the Scottish music industry, The SAY Award’s Live at the Longlist virtual event brought artists, industry professionals and music fans together from across the globe.

Filmed at Edinburgh venues 54EP and Summerhall and co-hosted by Nicola Meighan and Vic Galloway, the digital event saw the exclusive reveal of the highly-anticipated Longlist, with viewers treated to special, socially-distanced performances from former SAY Award nominees Free Love, Kinnaris Quintet and Sacred Paws.

The SAY Award Longlist is the product of an extraordinary nationwide consultation; encapsulating the strength and diversity of Scotland’s music scene. This year, a record-breaking 362 album submissions were narrowed down to the 20-strong Longlist by 100 impartial nominators representing a variety of genres including jazz, classical, hip-hop, pop, trad folk, rock, electronic, indie and many more.

The newly-announced Longlist will now be whittled down to a final 10 albums to make up this year’s Shortlist, one of which can be chosen by music fans in a 72-hour public vote.

From October 5-7, music fans have the chance to ensure their favourite album from the Longlist makes it onto the Shortlist by voting at The top 10 albums to make the Shortlist will then be announced on October 8, 2020, ahead of the winner announcement on Thursday, October 29. 

The winner of The SAY Award will collect £20,000, one of the most lucrative prize funds in the UK, while all nine runners-up are each awarded £1,000 and their own bespoke award.