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With only one week to go until the winner of Scotland’s national music prize is revealed atThe Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) ceremony on Thursday 29th October, ten artists are still in the running to collect one of the most lucrative prize funds in the UK, £20,000, and an exclusive Design Commission trophy. 
Prior to the ceremony next week, The SAY Award have teamed up with the legendary Tim Burgess’ Twitter Listening Parties to feature all 10 Shortlisted albums and today also reveal the official Design Commission trophy that each act will collect, entitled ‘Triumph’, exclusively created by Glasgow based designer and architect Rekha Barry.
This year’s Shortlist of ten includes a record-breaking eight debut albums; a first in the history of the award. The 10 Shortlisted albums in the running for the Scottish Album of the Year Award title are:
 The SAY Award Shortlist for 2020: 
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

The SAY Award Design Commission, curated by Local Heroes, highlights the enduring links between music, art and design and this year’s award, fittingly titled ‘Triumph’ and created by Rekha Barry, will be a lasting celebration for all 10 Shortlisted artists of their album’s outstanding achievements. The striking arches are cast in black and white marbled jesmonite with a smooth polished finish and also double as a candle holding table centrepiece. Each Shortlisted artist will collect their bespoke ‘Triumph’ trophy, along with a prize of £1,000, before the final winner is revealed from 7pm onThursday 29th October via YouTube Premiere. Subscribe to The SAY AwardYouTube channel to make sure you don’t miss out.

Speaking about the design, designer and architectRekha Barry said: “Being asked by Local Heroes created a brilliant challenge for me, as the intention was for it to have a dual purpose – both award and candle holder. I wanted to create something which was a celebration of the musician’s achievements, and felt great to hold but also was a functional piece of design anyone would be happy to have in the home.

Thinking about how an artist might feel when they’ve been shortlisted for The SAY Award, I immediately thought of triumph. A triumphal arch is a great reference for me as it is a piece of architecture and a sculpture at the same time. I would like to think that my designs can also be found between these two things. Coming from an architectural background, my first point of reference is always buildings. I am influenced by the forms and proportions of classical architecture and creating modern interpretations of this.

I was also inspired by The SAY Award 2020 host city of Edinburgh. Archways are the perfect motif for expressing this city and can be found everywhere. The material I use (jesmonite) when buffed and polished, gives an amazingly smooth stone-like feel which is representative of the city’s fabric.”


In a special one-off series to celebrate the 10 outstanding Scottish albums on 2020’s ShortlistThe SAY Award have collaborated with Tim Burgess’ Twitter Listening Parties for the ultimate pre-parties to the final award ceremony. From Monday 26th – Wednesday 28th October, all 10 Shortlisted albums will host their own Listening Party, alongside Tim Burgess himself, sharing insights and memories into the making of their albums. Each night fans will listen along to the Shortlisted albums with the artists, joining in on the cultural phenomenon which has developed into an almost-nightly event which will see Tim Burgess celebrate the 500th Listening Party this weekend on Sunday 25th October, with Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets. 
Timings for The SAY Award special #TimsTwitterListeningParty are:

Monday 26th October
7pm Callum Easter ‘Here Or Nowhere’
9pm Erland Cooper ‘Sule Skerry’
10pm Blanck Mass ‘Animated Violence Mild’

Tuesday 27th October 
6pm Bossy Love ‘Me + U’
7pm Declan Welsh & The Decadent West ‘Cheaply Bought, Expensively Sold’
9pm Comfort ‘Not Passing’
10pm SHHE ‘SHHE’

Wednesday 28th October
6pm NOVA ‘RE-UP’
7pm The Ninth Wave ‘Infancy’
10pm Cloth ‘Cloth’

All upcoming listening parties, plus archives of all previous parties can be found on
Ensure you don’t miss The SAY Award ceremony by subscribing to The SAY Award YouTube Channel With this year’s SAY Award campaign going digital for the first time ever due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, fans around the world now have the chance to be front-row at the traditionally industry-only exclusive award ceremony, broadcasting as a YouTube Premierefrom 7pm on Thursday 29th October. Set to be an outstanding celebration of the country’s flourishing and diverse music scene, Glasgow based synth-pop purveyors of feelgood sad songs Happy Spendy will perform on the night, having released their brand new compilation album ‘You’re Doing Okay’ in June this year. They will be joined by songwriter and soundsmith Kapil Seshasayee who combines electronica flourishes with Indian Classical guitar, stunning vocals and unorthodox instrumentation to create some of Scotland’s most exciting new sounds. Glasgow five-piece VLURE also join the line-up, with synth laden hooks and club influenced rhythm twisting around emotionally confronting lyrics, the band create an intense, life affirming live show which will be extremely welcome in a year sorely missing live performances. Singer-songwriter Zoe Graham completes The SAY Award ceremony line-up, perfecting her knack for refining universal emotions into electronic pop and having just released her new EP ‘Gradual Move’ last month, Zoe is a true star on the rise.

For 2020’s SAY Award, a record-breaking 362 eligible album submissions 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 Longlist has now been whittled down to a Shortlist of just 10 albums, with the final winner chosen by the esteemed Judging Panel which features the likes of Edith Bowman, Fay Milton, Jack Saunders, Jess Brough, Wezi Mhura and more

Developed and produced by the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), the 2020 campaign is delivered in partnership with Creative Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council, YouTube Music, 54EP, Sweetdram, Culture & Business Fund Scotland via Arts & Business Scotland, PPL, Summerhall, Ticketmaster and new charity partner Music Declares Emergency.

Previous winners of The SAY Award include 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 I’ve Spilled’ (2015), Young Fathers ‘Tape Two’ (2014), RM Hubbert ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’ (2013) and the inaugural winner Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat ‘Everything’s Getting Older’ (2012).
To keep up with The SAY Award 2020 journey, make sure you follow the award on Twitter @SAYaward, Instagram @sayaward and Facebook @SAYaward

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