News - Scottish Album of the Year

The winner of this year's Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award – Scotland’s National Music Prize – has been announced ...

Press Release

Fergus McCreadie’s ‘Forest Floor’ was announced as the winner of the coveted title and £20,000 prize at the exclusive Ceremony in The Albert Halls, Stirling on 20th October 2022.

In the award’s 11th year, Cocteau Twins were also recognised, picking up the Modern Scottish Classic Award for ‘Heaven and Las Vegas’, while Berta Kennedy won the Sound of Young Scotland Award and a funding package worth up to £5,000 to support the creation of her debut album.

25-year-old Scottish pianist Fergus McCreadie’s latest album ‘Forest Floor’ was recognised as Scottish Album of the Year at the Ceremony in Stirling - the city where he first developed his unique vision for jazz music. Scottish folk influences are central in defining Fergus’ sound, with precisely placed notes and rich harmonies which saw him shortlisted for the Mercury Prize which he attended earlier this week. Longlisted for a SAY Award in 2021 and shortlisted under Fergus McCreadie Trio in 2019, it's third time lucky for this exciting and unique artist. 

Fergus McCreadie, Scottish Album of the Year Award Winner for 2022, who was sadly unable to attend the ceremony said, “I’m absolutely honoured and thrilled that Forest floor has been selected as this year's Scottish Album of the Year. I’m really proud of how the trio comes across on the record and it’s such a privilege for us to have that recognised by the SAY award panel. I’m also so excited by what this can do for Scottish Jazz - we’re the first jazz act to win the prize and I really hope we won’t be the last.

Scottish jazz is full of incredible musicians and bands that I respect so much, and I really hope this will be only one step of an incredible journey for a scene which truly punches above its weight. All that to say, thanks so much to the SAY Award and the panel, to David and Stephen for their incredible musicianship and friendship, to all my fellow musicians in Glasgow for their support and to you, the audience, who make it happen for us. I will always be grateful to make and play music.”

For the second year, the winner of the Modern Scottish Classic Award was chosen by 2022’s Longlisted artists, recognising an outstanding album from Scotland’s past that still inspires music being made today. The winner was ‘Heaven or Las Vegas’ by Cocteau Twins.

Released in 1990, ‘Heaven or Las Vegas’ was the band's most commercially successful release, reaching number seven in the UK album charts. Numerous publications have since declared it one of the best albums of the 90s, Pitchfork calling it “a core of ungodly gorgeous songs that is every bit as moving and relevant today as it ever was.” Label founder Ivo Watts-Russell goes further, candidly revealing in the recent 4AD biography, Facing The Other Way, that this album wasn’t just his favourite Cocteaus album but also his favourite all-time 4AD album, and “by a long shot”, calling it “the perfect record.”

Accepting the award remotely, Robin Guthrie, a founding member of Cocteau Twins, said: “Some 40 years ago, Cocteau Twins played our first ever show in what was then a nightclub called Le Clique, just 500m down the road [from Albert Halls]. We were teenagers, we had six songs, we didn’t know much. There wasn’t the type of support the Scottish music industry now brings - but we stuck at it. Fast forward to 1989 and the stars aligned with a new studio, Elizabeth was a wee bit pregnant, and we were very slowly becoming adults. The soundtrack to this time we recorded as ‘Heaven or Las Vegas’. I’m really pleased to accept the Modern Scottish Classic Award on behalf of myself, Elizabeth and Simon. We’d like to thank the award’s Longlist who chose to recognise that this album should become a Scottish icon."

The third award of the night, The Sound of Young Scotland Award, supported by Ticketmaster, Youth Music and Youth Music Initiative, saw five finalists – Berta Kennedy, Dead Pony, KLEO, Psweatpants and Uninvited – recognised at the ceremony with the overall winner chosen by a panel of former SAY Award nominees. Nicola Meighan and Vic Galloway presented the award to this year’s winner, Berta Kennedy, who will receive a funding package worth up to £5,000 to facilitate the creation of her debut album, including recording time at Tolbooth Stirling.

Berta Kennedy, Sound of Young Scotland Winner 2022, said “I’d like to thank my amazing band - I’m so honoured to share the stage with them, they’re so talented. And thank you to The SAY Award and SMIA for supporting and uplifting people like me.” She also gave a shout out to her parents who yelled with excitement as Vic and Nicola announced their daughter’s win.

Robert Kilpatrick, Creative Director of the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) / The SAY Award, said, “Fergus McCreadie is not only at the forefront of Scotland’s jazz scene, but he’s a shining example of someone who’s making some of the most exciting and innovative jazz music worldwide. With a Mercury Prize nomination and a SAY Award win now under his belt, 2022’s been a phenomenal year for one of Scotland’s most exciting talents, and firmly places ‘Forest Floor’ as one of the defining records of this year.”

A huge congratulations also to Berta Kennedy on winning this year’s Sound of Young Scotland Award, and to ‘Heaven or Las Vegas’ by Cocteau Twins for winning the Modern Scottish Classic Award for one of the most magical Scottish records of all time.”

“On behalf of the SMIA, I’d like to thank all involved who make The SAY Award happen. As our industry continues to navigate challenging times, prizes like SAY and the financial and promotional support they offer are more vital than ever.”

Image -Fergus McCreadie, image by Cameron Brisbane
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