SAY Award announces 2020 Shortlist
- Deborah Chu
- 8 October 2020
Callum Easter wins public vote, with record-breaking number of debut albums making the list
The judges have convened, the votes have been tabulated, and the results are in: the Scottish Album of the Year Award (SAY) have unveiled which ten albums have nabbed a place on the coveted Shortlist for 2020. Nine of the albums were selected by this year's judges – the first to feature international judges, and the second in SAY Award history to be completely gender-balanced – while the tenth was selected via a 72-hour public vote. This year, audiences crowned Callum Easter's Here or Nowhere the winner of the much-coveted public vote.
The 2020 Shortlist features an unprecedented eight debut albums, including Bossy Love's Me + U, SHHE and Cloth's self-titled albums and The Ninth Wave's Infancy, highlighting the incredible strength of the Scottish music scene and the vibrant, burgeoning talent it has nurtured. The winner of this year's SAY Award will be announced via YouTube Premiere on Thu 29 Oct and receive the lucrative £20,000 cash prize, with the rest of the Shortlist receiving £1,000 each.
The shortlisted albums were teased to passers-by today on Glasgow Science Centre's 'Big Screen', featuring lyrics taken from each album, before the full list was announced this evening. The SAY Award Design Commission has also revealed that this year's trophies will be created by Glasgow-based designer and architect Rekha Barry.
Robert Kilpatrick, the General Manager of the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), says of the announcement: 'This year's Shortlist is an emotive list of records which shows strength, ambition and confidence in the last year of Scotland's recorded output. It presents a strong sense of Scotland's diverse cultural identity, particularly from a wave of new artists, with an incredible eight debut albums making up the Shortlist of ten; a first in the history of the award.
This year's Shortlist poignantly showcases a future vision of Scottish music – of Scotland's music industry – one which urgently needs targeted, sector-specific Government support to wave the continued storms of the COVID-19 crisis and to allow a vital industry on its knees to survive.
Music adds key economic, social and cultural benefits to our society and to each of our lives. It plays a fundamental role in driving tourism through our events and festivals, having generated £494 million for Scotland's economy in 2018. But most importantly, our musical output helps us connect with both ourselves and each other. It provides us with emotional and mental well-being, and it often reflects the stories of our lives and the stories of our communities.
All of this is currently at risk, and while the Scottish Government through Creative Scotland have provided some emergency funding for venues and hardship funding for artists, without further targeted support, our sector faces a severe and catastrophic loss of jobs and skills which would do long-term damage to music and culture for decades to come.
As we announce this year's SAY Award Shortlist, it also comes with a message that celebrating and championing our music and culture is more important now than ever. The strength of the albums on this year's Shortlist gives a compelling reason for all of us to do so, not least due to the fact that it highlights the quality and strength of new Scottish talent, and how much that needs to be supported at this fundamental time.
The SAY Award will now work to connect these albums with more people both within and outwith Scotland over the coming weeks, before announcing this year's winner on Thursday 29th October.
A huge congratulations to each of this year's Shortlisted albums. These are 10 genuinely outstanding Scottish records, and we implore you to listen to them.'
SAY Award 2020 Shortlist:
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
Erland Cooper – Sule Skerry
The Ninth Wave – Infancy
NOVA – RE-UP
SHHE – SHHE
The SAY Award Ceremony will be broadcast as a YouTube Premiere on Thu 29 Oct, visit sayaward.com for more details.