Monday, 9 June 2014

SAY Award 2014 shortlist

The Scottish Album of the Year Award (SAY Award) has been a welcome addition to the Scottish music calendar since it was established in 2012.

The Award really highlights the incredible diverse musical and artistic talent throughout Scotland.

The winning artist receives a cheque for £20,000 - a lot of money to some of the artists on this years shortlist and previous winners; RM Hubbert in 2013 for Thirteen Lost and Found and Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat in 2012 for Everything's Getting Older.

I'm surprised albums by Adam Holmes and Adam Stafford didn't make the cut from the long list - two beautiful albums.

The shortlist is below and the winner will be announced at the Barrowland ceremony on 19th June. Good luck to all the artists below and well done for making the shortlist.

Biffy Clyro - Opposites
Starting with a big hitter - the mighty Biffy. A double album that gave them plenty of scope to show how far they have come as a band - musically and lyrically. Biffy have a knack for writing anthems and there are some wonderful warm guitar sounds on Opposites.

Boards Of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest
Boards Of Canada came back from the wilderness to take everyone by surprise with the release of this album. Another unique talent that produce some beautiful soundscapes that build and take the listener on a journey.

Chvrches - The Bones Of What You Believe
I blogged about this album HERE and if anything my affection for it has grown. In with a real chance and I'm sure it would be a popular choice. Pop with a cutting edge.

Edwyn Collins - Understated
I'm very fond of Edwyn Collins music and the man as an artist. Dilemma is a very strong album taking in Edwyn's fondness for Velvet's style ballads and his love of Northern Soul, also rocking out at times. Too Bad (That's Sad) was one of my faves from 2013.

Hector Bizerk - Nodoby Seen Nothing
The lyrics, humour and social commentary in some of the songs I've listened to are clever. This just isn't for me at all.

Mogwai - Les Revenants
Mogwai are in quite formidable and prolific form at the moment. Their Mogwai play Zidane show was a highlight from last summer and their latest album Rave Tapes and tour saw them in powerful and mesmerising form. They play by their rules and their rules only. Les Revenants finds them in mellow form at times with xylophones and acoustic guitars. What Are They Doing In Heaven Today? is a stunning cover song featuring Stuart Braithwaite delivering a brilliant vocal performance.

RM Hubbert - Breaks Bone
Can Hubbert follow up last years victory? He is certainly in with a chance after delivering a strong and very personal album. Hubbert's guitar playing is wonderful and unique.

Steve Mason - Monkey Minds In The Devil's Time
Following on from the wonderful Boys Outside album, Mason is in typically eclectic form. Mason's voice is lovely, he sounds like he is harmonising with himself. It is just so sing song and likeable. Mason also has a fantastic ear for a tune; be it acoustic or electronic. Monkey.... allows him the space to fully explore his talent; instrumental tracks separate the full songs. Lonely is a standout for me from a brilliant album.

The Pastels - Slow Summits
I would personally be delighted if The Pastels walked away with the prize next week. I've been into them since the early 1990's, discovering them through Teenage Fanclub and enjoying their wonderful contribution to music. The Pastels love of music shines through in their albums and Slow Summits is a real highlight from a long career. From the pure pop of Check My Heart to the melancholy loveliness of Summer Rain, to the stunning largely instrumental title track - The Pastels have produced a brilliant album.

Young Fathers - Tape 2
I bought this album after the journalist Nicola Meighan played a couple of tracks whilst standing in for Vic Galloway on Radio Scotland. They've come a long way since I first saw them playing with my sisters old band Futuristic Retro Champions. There is a real melting pot of influences encompassed in Tape 2; I hear echoes of Marvin Gaye and Massive Attack amongst others. A win for Young Fathers would really make a statement for the wonderfully rich, eclectic music scene that we have in Scotland and that the SAY Awards celebrate.

No comments: