Saturday, 19 May 2012

The SAY Awards - Short List

I hate being stuck in work all day with no access to Facebook, Twitter and Blogger.  Means I miss all the exclusives.  (That and being bone idle, and generally having no access to exclusives).

So it's pretty common news by now I guess, yet given my continued support for The SAY Awards and the fact I'm genuinely delighted to see some albums on this list, I thought I'd post up about it anyhoo.  So just pretend you haven't already seen the list and inject some sense of excitement into this post.

Firstly we should acknowledge the winners of the public vote, Twin Atlantic.  Over 9000 people voted, which goes to prove that I'm out of touch with the public, and this means that Twin Atlantic's 'Free' makes the Short List.  Fair enough, it isn't my cup of tea, but you can't argue with democracy.  It would be interesting to know if the album was also picked by the judges OR if they had to bump someone else to include it...

Next shout out goes to Happy Particles, who defied logic by even making the Long List and now find themselves up £1000 and, in my opinion, in with a very decent shout of winning the grand prize.  However the importance of their album 'Under Sleeping Waves' inclusion extends far beyond the monetary rewards.  They are flying the flag for the unsigned, self financed and promoted musicians, those for whom making outstanding music is done in the confines of their bedrooms, in borrowed time in studios, paid for by gigging and working two jobs, the end results never in any danger of being what one would call 'chart successful'.  I'm delighted to see Happy Particles make the Short List and gain even more exposure.

Also we are delighted that another two of our original nominations have made the Short List.  They are of course Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat's 'Everythings Getting Older' and Remember Rememeber's 'The Quickening'.  Both are brilliant albums and I couldn't complain in the slightest if they were the overall winners.  Sad of course to see We Were Promised Jetpacks miss out on the final nod.

On last Monday's show I presented my 'dream Short List', and as well as 'Under Sleeping Waves', 'The Quickening' and 'Everything's Getting Older', we also plumped for King Creosote & Jon Hopkins, Conquering Animal Sound and Mogwai, so it's good to see them also on the final Short List.  That's six albums out of ten that I would have chosen myself.  Not bad.

Completing the list is Mungo's Hi-Fi with their album 'Forward Ever', Tommy Smith's 'Karma' and Rustie with the album 'Glass Swords'.  I have to say I enjoyed Rustie's album when I listened to it, and can appreciate it's inclusion.  Mungo's Hi-Fi are also very good at what they do, it's just that what they do isn't something I'm overly fussed about.  And Tommy Smith's music is also off my radar.  Yet the beauty of The SAY Awards is that it completely inclusive of all genres and that shows in the Short List.

My one gripe is the seemingly inexplicable exclusion of FOUND and their brilliant 'factorycraft' album.  At least it proves that Stewart Henderson, the brains behind The SAY Award's and also head of Chemikal Underground to whom FOUND are signed, isn't exerting any influence over proceedings!  I jest of course, but I'm genuinely shocked that FOUND did not progress into the Short List.

So that's my 2 cents.  There's now two weeks on Monday for you to listen to each album again via The SAY Awards website and app.  Once that is all over, it's just a hop, skip and jump to the Award Ceremony and the crowning of Scotland's Album Of The Year 2011.  Here's the list in full (in alphabetical order):

Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat - Everything’s Getting Older
Conquering Animal Sound - Kammerspiel
Happy Particles - Under Sleeping Waves
King Creosote & Jon Hopkins - Diamond Mine
Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
Mungo’s Hi Fi - Forward Ever
Remember Remember - The Quickening
Rustie - Glass Swords
Tommy Smith - Karma
Twin Atlantic - Free

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