FRIGHTENED Rabbit has won the inaugural ‘modern Scottish classic’ award as Biffy Clyro, Mogwai and Arab Strap have been revealed as in the running for this year’s Scottish Album of the Year.
Frightened Rabbit’s classic the Midnight Organ Flight has been recognised by the SAY Award judges in recognition for an album from Scotland’s past ” that still inspired music being made today”.
The 2008 album was the second by a band that started initially as a solo project for vocalist and guitarist Scott Hutchison who tragically took his own life in 2018, aged 36, after years with depression.
It comes as the judges of the SAY Award, the national music prize that has been described as Scotland’s answer to the Mercury Prize, revealed the top ten shortlist for album of the year.
The shortlist has been whittled down 327 eligible albums submissions.
The final ten remain in the running to win £20,000, one of the most lucrative prize funds in the UK, at this month’s ceremony in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall as Scotland’s national music prize celebrates its 10th year.
The ten are AiiTee – Love Don’t Fall; Arab Strap – As Days Get Dark; Biffy Clyro – A Celebration of Endings; Joesef – Does It Make You Feel Good; Lizzie Reid – Cubicle; Mogwai – As The Love Continues; Rachel Newton – To The Awe; Stanley Odd – STAY ODD; The Ninth Wave – Happy Days! and The Snuts – W.L.
The startling R Rated Keep Yourself Warm from the Midnight Organ Flight
It has been revealed that the winner of this year’s public vote was Stanley Odd’s STAY ODD with the remaining nine albums chosen by a judging panel that includes the likes of author Ian Rankin, poet Jackie Kay, actor Daniel Portman, comedian Ashley Storrie and The Charlatans front man Tim Burgess.
But the award for Frightened Rabbit has been revealed in advance of the big event.
A SAY Award spokesman said: “The Midnight Organ Fight by Frightened Rabbit is a record that many of us hold close to our hearts, and for it to claim the inaugural prize is a special moment for both The SAY Award and Scotland’s music community as a whole. It’s a record we’re proud to be honouring this year, and one we know will continue to be both celebrated and cherished for many years to come.”
The winner of The SAY Award will collect £20,000 while all nine runners-up will be awarded £1,000 and their own bespoke award Following a digital edition in 2020, the event returns as a physical ceremony, welcoming guests to Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on Saturday 23rd October.
ABOUT THE SHORTLIST
AiiTee – ‘Love Don’t Fall’
‘Love Don’t Fall’ is an album which portrays different sides of love. It aims to tell a story, going from the more toxic sides of love to running away from love, to finding what love is really supposed to look like.
Arab Strap – ‘As Days Get Dark’
“It’s about hopelessness and darkness,” says Aidan Moffat. “But in a fun way.” As ‘Days Get Dark’, Arab Strap’s first album since their split in 2006, is a record that manages to feel like both evolution and revolution, a continuation of what has come before but also a bold leap into the future. As Malcolm Middleton, the other half of the band, says: “There’s no point getting back together to release mediocrity.”
Biffy Clyro – ‘A Celebration of Endings’
Released on 14th August 2020, Biffy Clyro’s eighth studio record, and third UK number one album, ‘A Celebration of Endings’ gained praise from the likes of The Independent, who branded it “an album that soothes, shakes and surprises at every turn” in their 4 star review, whilst the Sunday Times made it their album of the week, describing it as “combining feral sonic attack with an innate melodic touch and lyrics about empowerment, activism, love and connection”. The album won the award for Best Album at the Scottish Music Awards 2021.
Joesef – ‘Does It Make You Feel Good?’
This EP draws a line under a relationship that I’ve written about in Play Me Something Nice – if that EP felt more hopeful, this is the end game. The bitterness, and the lies that stem from fading love, to the aftermath of dealing with loss and regret, and finally taking responsibility for my own actions. I don’t really give much away ever, so it will always make me feel uncomfortable sharing such personal aspects of my life, but maybe if it can help me work some shit out, it could help somebody else too.
Lizzie Reid – ‘Cubicle’
Reid’s songs are microcosms of love, loss and heartbreak experienced in Glasgow’s streets, nightclubs and bars. She covers similarly personal topics on her EP ‘Cubicle’. Within she reflects on a formative summer which saw the end of Reid’s first same-sex relationship.
The EP was recorded in March 2020 with producer Oli Barton-Wood (Mellah, Nilufer Yanya, Molly Payton). Aware of the increasing seriousness of the covid19 situation, Wood packed a case of microphones, leads and equipment and travelled to Lizzie’s home in Glasgow to make the record. They finished the EP just days ahead of the UK-wide lockdown.
As the world outside descended into chaos and its structures threatened to fall apart, Reid created something both strong and vulnerable that will serve to offer solace and hope in the most testing of times.
Mogwai – ‘As The Love Continues’
‘As The Love Continues’ is the follow up to 2017’s Every Country’s Sun, and their third UK Top 10 charting album. It reached number 1 in the UK album charts, and No. 9 in Billboards US Album Sales Chart giving the band the highest scoring chart positions they have ever achieved.
Rachel Newton – ‘To The Awe’
‘To The Awe’ places women at the centre of its narrative, drawing on old poems and traditional song lyrics to follow the various stages of a woman’s life, often marking a coming of age and an acquisition of power. The record is a tribute to the women who have inspired Rachel and is influenced by her own recent work around representation in the music industry. Composed, recorded and mixed in lockdown, it was a challenging album to make, but ultimately a welcome focus and a vital connection with others in such strange and uncertain times.
Stanley Odd – ‘STAY ODD’
‘STAY ODD’ is about the oddities of the ordinary. It’s a collection of musical stories about about outsiders, outcasts and the universally Odd; the ordinarily unusual; the typically extraordinary. It navigates the geography of the Odd Universe from witches and stolen bikes, to moonlight flits and radical, rebellious women, through hedonism, parenthood, lying politicians and universal outsiderdom. The music is the centre of the album but the centre explodes outward into the films and Matt’s artwork, with the book as a pathfinder to plot the journey of the songs. We are Odd and so are you.
The Ninth Wave – ‘Happy Days!’
The Ninth Wave open an auspicious new chapter of their story with the release of ‘Happy Days!’. Recorded at the suitably gothly Black Bay studio on the island of Great Bernera the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, produced with Faris Badwan, it’s The Ninth Wave like you’ve never heard them before rawer, realer, more playful, and more revealing.
The Snuts – ‘W.L.’
Our debut album ‘W.L.’ is a lifetimes work. It’s a collection of milestones and melodies that time stamp a dream we had become a reality. It’s a record about being true, loving and resilient.