SAY Award: Longlist for Scottish Album of the Year Award reveals a remarkable diversity of talent – Scotsman comment

Contenders for top Scottish music award include a rapper, a cellist, a punk duo and a piper

There are some who say the Scottish music industry is in the doldrums. However, this year’s contenders for the Scottish Album of the Year Award (SAY Award) suggest otherwise. For a start, the 20-strong longlist was drawn from a total of no less than 437 eligible releases – a record figure.

And the diversity of talent on display is something to see. If you imagine the award is dominated by Indie guitar bands or manufactured pop trios, you really could not be more wrong. Instead, the list includes a rapper, a cellist, a rising soul star, a folk guitarist, a punk duo, an electronica artist and even a piper from Skye! It’s hard to get more eclectic than that.

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Some would doubtless regard two-time winners Young Fathers and chart-topper Paolo Nutini as the big names on the list. However, given the Ezra Collective recently became the first jazz act to win the UK Mercury Prize – after jazz pianist Fergus McCreadie won the SAY Award last year – the current creative atmosphere may just be ripe for another surprise winner.

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