Monday, 7 May 2012

SAY Awards - Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat - A Closer Look

It's been over two weeks since The SAY Awards Long List was announced and hopefully you've been busy familiarising yourself with the unknown quantities that it threw up.  As there's also now less than two weeks until the all important public vote, and with the winner of said vote guaranteed a place on the Short List of ten albums, there's a lot at stake (£10,000 to be precise!)  As one of the 100 nominators for the SAY Awards, we were chuffed to see four of our five selections make the Long List.  And we've decided to give you the low-down on each of these four albums.

That isn't to say that the other 16 albums are not worthy of your vote or being the overall winner.  Indeed there's plenty of other worthy contenders in our eyes, and we'll come to them in due course.  We all have our favourites and these four albums happen to be mine.  That said the most important thing is to make up your own mind and you can do that over at the SAY Awards official site.

Without further ado, here's the second of our choices, 'Everything's Getting Older' from Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat

Right from the off it should be stressed that this record should not be looked upon as solely an Aidan Moffat record.  Opener 'Tasogare' should destroy that illusion straight away, with it's emotional outpouring from Well's piano.  Released on Chemikal Underground on 26th April, 'Everything's Getting Older' has probably been my favourite album of 2011 since buying it.  Even at the tender age of 26, I find myself identifying with the gloomy Moffat at times.  It's an album of unparallelled insight, beauty, humour.  Fans of Moffat will click with his usual silver tongue, demonstrated especially on 'Ballad Of A Bastard' and 'Glasgow's Jubilee'.  But whilst there is the underlying theme of 'ageing', penultimate track 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' is one of the most awe inspiring tracks I've ever heard.  A complete understanding of this great adventure we call 'life', Moffat shows he can do beauty just as well as scathing.  As for 'The Cooper Top', well no words I have can do it justice.  It's quite simply stunning.

Why should 'Everything's Getting Older' win The SAY Award 2011?

This, ultimately, is the question that I had to ask myself when nominating the album, and one which you should ask when deciding to vote, or not vote, for it.  'Everything's Getting Older' is as honest an album as you may ever hear.  It's full of grown up, real life emotion, the kind that many of us will encounter one day.  Moffat has no problem describing his flaws either, and that takes some doing.  Musically, with Wells at the helm, the beauty of the music matches the raw emotion of the lyrics.  It's a partnership made in heaven, and this album for me is the one of the list which tells the most about life.

Finally, if all of the above isn't enough, we caught up with Bill Wells to pose a few questions about the whole proceedings.  Special thanks to Bill for taking the time to answer.  Have a read below.

Hi Bill. how are you?

Not bad.

Congratulations on 'Everything's Getting Older' being longlisted for The SAY Awards.  How do you view The SAY Awards as a whole? 

Thanks. I would say it's undoubtedly a positive thing, especially as there has obviously been no little time and effort taken to ensure that it avoids the cliquishness of most of these types of award.  It's heartening to see that it really does feature a very broad range of styles of music and includes bands who have little or no record company backing.

Scots are notoriously self deprecating.  How important in your view is The SAY Awards in terms of highlighting the talent that spans across many genres here in Scotland? 

I would like to think that this is it's main purpose rather than being just a competition.  The additional promotion and exposure granted to the bands even which have made it thus far is substantial.

We have a tiny nation bursting with talent, yet not often do we shout about it.  Do you think a lack of a sense of self-importance helps nurture better music? 

I don't know that a lack or abundance of self importance makes much difference, it really depends on the artist. However I do feel that there is a very down to earth attitude here that encourages a reasonably high standard regardless of genre.

A lot of people, rightly or wrongly, don't see industry awards as a positive thing.  As musicians how affirming is it to have your work recognised with nominations and awards such as this?

 I do think that people generally like competitions and awards so it's an immediate way to connect and create interest and hopefully lead a new audience to the music itself.

The lenghty creation of 'Everything's Getting Older' is well documented, what are the resounding positive memories you have from creating this album?

I suppose putting it all together after we had finished recording and thinking it felt like something special.

Take yourself out of the running, who would be your choice for The SAY Award 2011? 

Since I still haven't actually listened to everything I'll pass on that.

As far as the future goes, are there plans for further collaborations?

I don't think we stopped, we've already done a couple of one-off tracks this year and there will be a full length album, eventually.

Have a listen to 'If You Keep Me In Your Heart' below.  And purchase Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat's album 'Everything's Getting Older' here

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