In case you missed it, the longlist for this year’s Scottish Album of the Year was announced a couple of weeks ago and as usual there is no shortage of talent on display. Whether it be Frightened Rabbit’s anthemic ‘Pedestrian Verse‘, Tommy Smith’s National Jazz Orchestra’s homage to Duke Ellington, ‘In the Spirit of Duke‘ or Mogwai’s brooding score to Les Revenants, there is a bit of everything on the longlist of 20.
I probably sound like a broken record (saves this sentence again for 2015), but i genuinely look forward to the longlist being announced every year. Not just because there are albums that I hope will be on there but also because there’s often a few albums which I’ve either never heard of or just not paid enough attention to which I’ll then go and give a proper listen to. This year is no exception. Of course, readers of this blog will have guessed that we’re very happy to see Kid Canaveral’s ‘Now That You Are A Dancer‘, The Pastels’ ‘Slow Summits‘, Rick Redbeard’s ‘No Selfish Heart‘ and ‘Tomorrow’s Harvest‘ by Boards of Canada on the list. However, we’re also delighted to see another stack of albums there, ripe to fall in love with or just give a bit more listening to.
At the end of the day, the SAY Award will go to one winner, but the fact that these 20 albums have shone through the hundreds of albums released in this country, is quite the achievement in itself.
This year’s longlist is as follows;
Adam Holmes and the Embers – Heirs and Graces
Adam Stafford – Imaginary Walls Collapse
Biffy Clyro – Opposites
Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest
Camera Obscura – Desire Lines
CHVRCHES – The Bones Of What You Believe
Dunedin Consort (Dir. John Butt) – J. S. Bach: Six Brandenburg Concertos
Edwyn Collins – Understated
Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse
Hector Bizerk – Nobody Seen Nothing
Kid Canaveral – Now That You Are a Dancer
Mogwai – Les Revenants
Rick Redbeard – No Selfish Heart
RM Hubbert – Breaks & Bone
Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire – Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire
Scottish Chamber Orchestra (R. Ticciati) – Berlioz: Les Nuit D’été
Scottish National Jazz Orchestra – In The Spirit Of Duke
Steve Mason – Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time
The Pastels – Slow Summits
Young Fathers – Tape Two
Currently the SAY website is streaming a longlisted album a day on their website. A public vote will follow for 72 hours starting on May 28th.
A little later than in previous years, the 2013 winner of the Scottish Bloggers and Music Sites Award (or BAMS as it is known affectionately in some circles) was announced, with Chvrches taking the number one spot for their critically acclaimed album, ‘The Bones of What You Believe’.
The votes were cast by 40 writers from 29 different blogs and music sites with 164 different LP’s getting nods. As ever, it was nice to see a few of our picks making the top 10. Boards of Canada, The Pastels and my top pick Kid Canaveral to name a few. Here’s how the masses voted;
1. CHVRCHES – The Bones Of What You Believe (Virgin)
2. Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse (Atlantic)
3. Adam Stafford – Imaginary Walls Collapse (Song, By Toad)
4. Rick Redbeard – No Selfish Heart (Chemikal Underground)
5. Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest (Warp)
6. The Pastels – Slow Summits (Domino)
7. The National – Trouble Will Find Me (4AD)
8. Steve Mason – Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time (Domino)
9. Kid Canaveral – Now That You Are A Dancer (Fence)
10. Fuck Buttons – Slow Focus (ATP Recordings)
Here’s how your Elba writers voted;
1.Savages – Silence Yourself
2.Veronica Falls – Veronica Falls
3.Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest
4.My Bloody Valentine – mbv
5.RM Hubbert – Breaks and Bone
6.Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
7.Sparrow and The Workshop – Murderopolis
8.Bill Callahan – Dream River
9.Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse
10.The Pastels – Slow Summits
1.Kid Canaveral – Now That You’re A Dancer
2.Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
3.Thirty Pounds of Bone – I Cannot Sing You Here, But For Songs Of Where
4.Veronica Falls – Veronica Falls
5.Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action
6.Sparrow & The Workshop – Murderopolis
7.The Pastels – Slow Summits
8.RM Hubbert – Breaks & Bone
9.Monoganon – Family
10. Fidlar – Fidlar
We continue our collaborative mixtape making this week with number eleven in the series. It has been a fortnight of fewer gig trips, though not of lesser bands. We have a stack of tickets for approaching shows so some down time was definitely required. To achieve this, we have been putting our feet up and indulging in some lazy Sunday listening sessions, aided by some fantastic record re-issues. One of us jumped aboard the great unstoppable music bandwagon thanks to some great artistry and direction for a live music video. We both have unashamedly been overexposing ourselves to this fortnight’s tracks and we’re already stacking songs for the next mix.
The two of Elba that bring you Eleven have been bullying the other into listening to whatever each is excited about for more years than we’d care to count now. Well, I bully. Phil is patient and understanding when three weeks after he told me about a band I appear sporting a band tee or tote, demanding we go to see them on whatever dreary, rain-sodden Glasgow weeknight they might be playing. These mixtapes are turning into an endless and beautiful discussion for Elba and have us appreciating music both near and far. Hopefully they will fall on open ears.
Just Handshakes – London Bound
Phil: I have a really bad habit of storing up music, be it things that were sent to me, or stuff that I buy. Months will go past before I remember I have it. That happened with this track, well, the whole single. I acquired it on I forget who’s recommendation but it’s bloody good and to be quite honest would have been ideal in the warm summer months. It’s sweet indie pop at it’s very best. And being that it’s November, the band are giving away their track of the same name free, for the rest of the month.
La Sera – Please Be My Third Eye
Kim: Elba’s love of Kickball Katy Goodman should be no mystery. La Sera have stolen and broken our hearts on a previous mixtape. We’ve been charmed by her tour photos and updates over the course of their current US tour. I’d advise following Katy on whatever online stalking means that you prefer to accompany a listen of her sophomore pop-punk singalong. I’ve returned to Sees The Light and have been bopping about my flat (in the fashion of dance trendsetter Greta Gerwig) with a gigantic grin on my face.
Poor Things – Morgan
Kim: Phil would probably be better to put across his thoughts on Morgan as his reaction to it has just been lovely. Poor Things are a Glasgow indie jangly pop-rock trio that invoke the spirit of Steven Malkmus and Teenage Fanclub. The upbeat guitars and melodic vocals have won us completely. Those chorus ‘ooohs’ and that guitar break just tip this track into the ‘on constantly’ (aka mixtape) pile. Poor Things play 13th Note on 20th November.
Monoganon – Best Pals
Phil: It struck me the other week that we’re all going to start trying to pick our albums of the year again soon. This year has flown by, it feels like it wasn’t that long since I did last year’s and now that merry-go-round is imminent again. It’s often quite easy, on early listens to a really good album, to proclaim it as probably one of the albums of the year, but I really think with Family, Monoganon have nailed it. It’s certainly going to be right up there on many peoples lists. And with tracks like this, why the hell not?
Blood Relatives – A Murder Of Crows
Phil: I have been waiting impatiently for this album to be released for a very long time and I’m pleased to report that when it arrived it had all the indie-folk-pop hooks that I could have wanted. Pretty much every song is memorable and this one reminds me a bit of Sons and Daughters. I think it’s the ‘oh oh ohhhhhhhhhhs…’. Blood Relatives play RBS Museum Lates in Edinburgh tonight.
Siobhan Wilson – Laugh Or Die
Phil: There are some tracks I find hard to write about. There’s not much I can say about this one other than I was completely and utterly smitten the first time I heard it and I still love it more each time I hear it. In fact, I think me and this track will just get a room.
Mogwai – Remurdered
Kim: I’ve already dedicated a post to this track. It was my musical highlight of last week. Mogwai continue their ingenious trail through music with first offering off of next year’s The Rave Tapes. That three minute mark is joyous. I will leave it at that before I turn into a squealing fan-girl.
David Bowie – Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for the DFA)
Kim: The David Bowie Love Is Lost remix is finally available for ownership. I have abused the Soundcloud of this track since it was revealed in October. This is not a track that should require any further exposure but I would be amiss not to include it on this mixtape. DFA hero and centre of the shining LCD Soundsystem (we miss you!) disco ball James Murphy honours the great Steve Reich via handclap in his remix of David Bowie song Love Is Lost. It sounds like something that could never top its description. Guess what? Yup. So, if I manage to play a part in bringing this mix to just one more person in the world, I’ll be happy. Despacio, the custom built soundsystem made and helmed by Mr Murphy and 2manydjs, is setting up in London late December. Oh! How I wish I were going.
Of course, you probably know already but last night, RM Hubbert’s ‘Thirteen Lost and Found’ won this year’s Scottish Album of the Year award. We’re over the moon here at Elba as Hubby is someone we’ve got to know through our long forgotten recorded sessions and also the gigs (what a line up!) at the dearly departed Liquid Ship. There has been much written about how deserving a winner the album was and we can only echo those sentiments but we’d also agree with Hubby that there is so much great music being made in Scotland that many of the shortlisted, and longlisted albums, would be worthy of the crown. Of the final ten, there were several that different parts of us were rooting for, which shows the strength of the entrants.
Indeed, we’re already a touch giddy at the prospect of who might be in with a chance of winning next year’s prize with the first six months of 2013 already stuimulating our listening with offerings from Rick Redbeard, Sparrow and the Workshop, The Pastels, Kid Canaveral, The Pictish Trail and Boards of Canada. Not to mention the six months of the year still remaining. And you never know, RM Hubbert might just be in with a shout next year too…