Bills Wells and Aidan Moffat win inaugural SAY Award

The duo rewarded £20 000 for 2011 album Everything's Getting Older

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Bills Wells and Aidan Moffat win inaugural SAY Award

The inaugural Scottish Album of the Year Awards (SAY) ceremony took place at Glasgow’s Film City on Tue 19 Jun. Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat were the recipients of the prestigious title and the beneficiaries of a far from paltry sum of £20,000 for their album, Everything’s Getting Older. With an eight year incipience, Everything’s Getting Older was a long time in the making and was considered a worthy winner, though James Scott of Conquering Animal Sound – whose album Kammerspiel was shortlisted for the award – professed that Glass Swords by Rustie was ‘not just the best [album] of the year, but the best Scottish album in years’, though in accordance with the judge’s verdict acceded that Wells and Moffatt’s work was a ‘great collection of songs, and a worthy winner.’

The award was the brainchild of the Scottish Music Industry Association whose Chairperson, Stewart Henderson paid homage to the depth and wealth of talent within Scotland’s arts community commenting that SAY was ‘a pretty stunning advert for the health of Scottish music’. One of the most prominent successes of the SAY award has been the efficacy of the selection process in whittling down the initial entrants to the cream of the crop, a feat in itself without mentioning the seemless utilisation of social media and smart phone apps. Unalloyed in its democratically principled approach, SAY pooled the thoughts of one hundred of Scotland’s musical aficionados that ranged from DJs to academics. From this wealth of wisdom were drawn 20 LPs which were boiled down to a top ten short list. A testament to the quality of SAY was evinced through the marked absences from Edinburgh DJ/ Producers, Fudge Fingas and 6th Borough Project whose LPs missed out on the final cut. The surfeit of Scottish talent was substantiated though CAS’s Scott who averred that noteworthy works of Adam Stafford, Jonnie Common and Muscles of Joy had perhaps been overlooked. Music criticism though, from pub ammo to highfalutin NME speak, is subjective, something that Scott acknowledged when considering the judge’s verdict: ‘Everyone is going to have their own idea who should've won, and there won't be a consensus on a thing like that’.

What can be said with unwavering clarity however is that SAY has made a positive impact in its ability to reconcile young people with a cornucopia of various music that might otherwise not have been accessed. Combine that with the corporate exposure that fledgling artists have received and its abundantly clear that SAY, noble in its intentions, ought to be an institutional pillar in acknowledging outstanding music. Let’s hope that in keeping with the lengthy production time and titular reference of last night’s winner, SAY will live to a ripe old age.

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