Scotlands national music prize, the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award, has officially announced the twenty outstanding Scottish albums which have made it onto this years coveted Longlist in the awards tenth year; whittled down from 327 eligible albums by 100 impartial music industry Nominators. All twenty albums were released during the COVID-19 pandemic, amidst huge turmoil for the music industry, making it an even more extraordinary feat for each and every artist.

In alphabetical order, The SAY Award Longlist for 2021 is as follows:

AiiTee – Love Dont Fall
Andrew Wasylyk – Fugitive Light And Themes Of Consolation
Arab Strap – As Days Get Dark
Bemz – Saint of Lost Causes
Biffy Clyro – A Celebration of Endings
Carla J. Easton – WEIRDO
Erland Cooper – Landform (Feat. Marta Salogni)
Fergus McCreadie – Cairn
Jenny Sturgeon – The Living Mountain
Joesef – Does It Make You Feel Good?
Kübler Ross – Kübler Ross
Lizzie Reid – Cubicle
Matt Carmichael – Where Will the River Flow
Mogwai – As The Love Continues
Paul Towndrow – Deepening The River
Rachel Newton – To The Awe
Stanley Odd – STAY ODD
TAAHLIAH – Angelica
The Ninth Wave – Happy Days!
The Snuts – W.L.

Robert Kilpatrick, Creative Projects and Communications Director at the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) said, "Each year, the announcement of the 20-strong SAY Award Longlist provides an important focal point to both reflect on and celebrate the strength and diversity of Scotlands recorded output; recognising the impact that music has on our lives and in driving our ever-evolving cultural identity as a nation.
"With each of this years Longlisted albums having been released throughout the pandemic, that reflection sees a new depth, and "strength" in the context of 2021 embodies much more than artistic merit – its underpinned by resilience, passion and endurance throughout challenges that our artists and music industry in particular have sorely felt.

"Musics power often comes from its ability to tap into inner parts of ourselves; inspiring us, comforting us and ultimately helping us better understand both ourselves and each other. It brings us together, and at a time of mass uncertainty and turbulence where weve had to be apart, never has its intrinsic power felt more special and important.

"With a massive congratulations to 2021s Longlist also comes a thank you – to the artists and their teams for providing escape, connection and outstanding bodies of work at a time when weve never needed them more. We cant wait to celebrate these records – and ten years of SAY – at this years ceremony; our biggest to date, and what will undoubtedly be an incredible night to remember for artists, industry and music fans alike."

Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland said: "If you need proof that the Scottish music scene is emerging strong and defiant from months of lockdown, then look no further than this years SAY Award Longlist. With three Official UK Charts No1 albums, an explosion of diversity from some stars of tomorrow and positive recognition of our flourishing grassroots jazz scene, 2021s contenders make a bold statement about the energy that fuels the music Scotland has to offer and the strength of our creative voice."


AiiTee said, "Im still so in awe that Love Dont Fall has been included in the Scottish Album of The Year Award Longlist. Im so grateful to everyone who has taken time out to listen to my music and I hope I can make more music to bring smiles to peoples faces and uplift them."

Andrew Wasylyk said, "The SAY Award do wonderful work highlighting the creativity in Scottish music. Im surprised and deeply humbled to be included amongst such great artists. Thank you."

Arab Strap said, "Were both humbled and proud to make the Longlist this year, and were sure well be in excellent company – The SAY Award is a brilliant celebration of Scotlands diverse sounds, and we look forward to making new discoveries too."

Bemz said, "This project has made a lot of things possible - I just want to say thanks to all those involved in helping me make it & thanks to those who Nominated it."

Biffy Clyro said, "We are delighted to have made the Longlist for The SAY Award with A Celebration of Endings, alongside some incredible albums from the last year. Were really proud of this record and we want to thank those involved for the nomination. We hope to see you all soon!"

Carla J. Easton said, "Its so wonderful to be included in this years Longlist. What a difficult and challenging year our industry has faced! Im so thankful for all the continued support. I think this year The SAY Award is more vital than ever for building back our scene and community. I was a bit worried my album would become a lost work due to the circumstances surrounding its release so to be able to celebrate it with all those who helped shape it and make it happen really means a lot to me, especially as an independent artist."

Erland Cooper said, "It says a great deal to me about the ecosystem of the Scottish music industry that my experimental record, created out of abstract layers of sound and field recordings, has been recognised in this way. Thank you. Its an album grounded in place and time."

Fergus McCreadie said, "I am delighted and honoured to have been nominated for such a prestigious award in the Scottish music industry. Cairn was a composite of where I was at that time as a musician and composer, and how the band sounded after playing so much together in recent years. To be on the Longlist with so many other great artists is very exciting to me, and I am especially honoured to be representing the jazz scene in Scotland, which I am always so happy to be a part of."

Jenny Sturgeon said, "Im over the moon to have been included in The SAY Award 2021 Longlist. Scotland has such a vibrant and thriving music scene and The SAY Award does a brilliant job of amplifying this creativity. Its always a highlight of the year getting to hear new music through SAY."

Joesef said, "Im proud to say I love these tunes and to be acknowledged by The SAY Award in this way means a lot to me. I thought my managers were joking at first but aye cheers!"

Kübler-Ross said, "We are utterly shocked and delighted to be included in the selection for The SAY Award. Thank you!!!!"

Lizzie Reid said, "To be a part of The SAY Award Longlist alongside these incredible bands and artists feels totally insane! It fills my heart to think that people have been listening and enjoying my little album. Thank you thank you thank you!"

Matt Carmichael said, "Ive discovered a lot of great music by following The SAY Award in the past and Im very grateful to be included this year after releasing my first album. The awards are great exposure and its nice to think that Where Will The River Flow will find its way into the ears of new listeners who wouldnt have otherwise discovered the music. Despite COVID, I think the past year has been particularly exciting for new albums in the Scottish music scene and Id highly recommend checking out the other eligible albums on The SAY Award website and supporting your favourite artists if you can."

Mogwai said, "We are immensely proud to be included in this years SAY Award Longlist alongside so many other great Scottish albums."

Paul Towndrow said, "Im delighted and honoured to have Deepening The River be part of The SAY Award Longlist for 2021. I hope people will take the time to listen to the album, which only exists thanks to the unbelievable talent and commitment of the musicians featured on the recording, all of whom are artists I admire greatly and whose music I would urge people to investigate. Scotlands music scene has huge strength in depth, massive resilience, and reflects rich diversity. I hope this album goes a little way towards shining a light on some of that talent and potential."

Rachel Newton said, "Making To The Awe got me through the early days of lockdown and was funded entirely by direct support from fans, so it means a great deal to me and Im delighted for it to be included in this years Longlist."

Stanley Odd said, "Yas! Absolutely pure delighted to be on The SAY Award Longlist. Its been an amazing year for new music releases despite the ongoing global madness and were over the moon to see STAY ODD resonate with folks."

TAAHLIAH said, "Angelica was created out of love for myself and the experiences Ive had in life which have led me to be who I am today. For my debut project to be recognised in this way feels wonderfully gratifying."

The Ninth Wave said, "We were taken aback when our first album was Longlisted for The SAY Award last year, and when it made the Shortlist we were even more excited. For the follow up to that album to be Longlisted is truly amazing, especially since it includes the first pieces weve ever recorded that were completely self-produced. Thank you to everyone whos supported us on our journey and evolution across these releases."

The Snuts said, "We are delighted for our debut album W.L. to be in the running for The SAY Award. Its an album thatll always be close to our hearts and the hearts of our fans."
The SAY Award Longlist is the product of an extraordinary nationwide consultation; encapsulating the strength and diversity of Scotlands music scene.

This year, 327 album submissions, all released during the pandemic, 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 years Shortlist, one of which can be chosen by music fans in a 72-hour online public vote. From 27th – 29th September, music fans have the chance to ensure their favourite album from the Longlist makes it onto the Shortlist by voting at www.sayaward.com, with the remaining 9 albums chosen by an esteemed judging panel.

This years SAY Award judging panel includes the likes of Ian Rankin (Author), Jackie Kay (Poet), Daniel Portman (Actor) and Ashely Storrie (Comedian), as well as Tim Burgess (Musician, The Charlatans), whose "Tims Twitter Listening Parties" sound tracked the UKs lockdown for many by bringing artists and audiences together to listen, discuss and celebrate albums both past and present.

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 will be awarded £1,000 and their own bespoke award. Following a digital edition in 2020, the event returns as a physical ceremony, welcoming guests to Edinburghs Usher Hall on Saturday 23rd October. For the first time since the awards inception, music fans are able to join the celebrations and purchase tickets to attend one of the most exciting nights in Scotlands musical calendar. This years Ceremony (marking the awards 10th birthday) will celebrate the strength and diversity of Scottish music; past, present and future. The event will recognise 2021s Nominees and feature special one-of-a-kind live performances, along with the exclusive reveal of 2021s Scottish Album of the Year. To date, The SAY Award has distributed over £232,000 in prize money across nine previous campaigns, with 2021 set to be another stellar year in showcasing the best of Scotlands world-renowned musical talent.

2021 has also seen the introduction of two new awards for SAYs tenth year, with the Modern Scottish Classic Award and Sound of Young Scotland Award. This years Longlist will choose the winner of the Modern Scottish Classic Award, recognising an iconic Scottish album which has inspired music being made today with a special performance at the Ceremony to celebrate the winning album. Additionally, a panel of previous SAY Award nominees including Kobi Onyame, Sacred Paws, SHHE and more, will choose the winner of The Sound of Young Scotland Award, with the winner receiving up to £5,000 funding to facilitate the creation of their debut album, plus a showcase performance slot at The SAY Award Ceremony in 2022. Supported by Youth Music and Youth Music Initiative (Creative Scotland), The Sound of Young Scotland Award was designed to invest in Scottish musics future and provide vital support to an emerging artist.

Developed and produced by the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), the 2021 campaign is delivered in partnership with Creative Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council, YouTube Music, Spotify, Ticketmaster and PPL with Music Declares Emergency returning as the awards Charity Partner for a second year. With COP26 taking place in Glasgow throughout November, sustainability is at the heart of The SAY Awards plans, and the SMIA will look to use its flagship project to demonstrate and instill best practice for the music industry both now and in the future.

Now in its tenth year, previous winners of The SAY Award include Nova Re-Up (2020), Auntie Flo Radio Highlife (2019), Young Fathers Cocoa Sugar (2018), Sacred Paws Strike A Match (2017), Anna Meredith Varmints (2016), Kathryn Joseph Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood Ive Spilled (2015), Young Fathers Tape Two (2014), RM Hubbert Thirteen Lost & Found (2013) and the inaugural winner Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat Everythings Getting Older (2012).

To keep up with The SAY Award 2021 journey, make sure you follow the award on Twitter @SAYaward, Instagram @sayaward and Facebook @SAYaward.

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