Last month was our monthly TYCI radio show (available to listen again soon), and in an attempt to find a contemporary hook for the music-related bits of our between-tracks banter I thought it might be a good idea to speculate about the absence of female-fronted music on the SAY Award shortlist, which was also announced yesterday. I was very proud to be asked to be one of the 100-strong panel of “nominators”, taken from across the Scottish music industry, for a second year running, and even prouder when I saw the shortlist and discovered that four of my five nominations appeared on it.
Which kinda makes me part of the problem, because all of my five nominations were blokes*.
It’s just an idle muse, going nowhere: I based my picks on my list of my favourite albums from 2012, which is split fairly evenly between the sexes (particularly the top half). Perhaps it was just a particularly weak year for female-fronted Scottish acts? With the first few months of the year already seeing fantastic albums from Sarah J Stanley and Conquering Animal Sound, and a new one on the way from Camera Obscura, it’s not one I expect to ponder next year.
Full longlist as follows, with my favourites in bold:
Admiral Fallow, Tree Bursts in Snow
Auntie Flo, Future Rhythm Machine
Calvin Harris, 18 Months
Dam Mantle, Brothers Fowl
Django Django, Django Django
Duncan Chisholm, Affric
Emeli Sandé, Our Version of Events
Errors, Have Some Faith in Magic
Human Don’t Be Angry, Human Don’t Be Angry
Karine Polwart, Traces
Konrad Wiszniewski & Euan Stevenson, New Focus
Lau, Race the Loser
Meursault, Something for the Weakened
Miaoux Miaoux, Light of the North
Paul Buchanan, Mid Air
RM Hubbert, Thirteen Lost & Found
Stanley Odd, Reject
The Twilight Sad, Noone Can Ever Know
The Unwinding Hours: Afterlives
The longlisted albums will be available for streaming on the SAY Award website and app from Monday. There will then be a 24-hour public voting period, and the album with the most votes will get an automatic place on the ‘shortlist’ of ten. The other nine albums will be chosen by an independent panel of judges.
This year’s awards ceremony will take place on 20th June at the Barrowlands. There’s £20,000 for the winner and £1,000 for each shortlisted runner-up, as well as a specially-commissioned artwork.
*I actually really rated the Karine Polwart album, although it’s not the sort of music I normally listen to; so there.