Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat’s Everything’s Getting Older was last night crowned winner of the inaugural Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award. Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat were unveiled as the recipients of the prestigious and highly coveted £20,000 prize by The Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) tonight (Tuesday 19th June) at a glittering ceremony in Glasgow’s Film City.
The judging panel of esteemed industry experts was united in its praise for Everything’s Getting Older, impressed by its creativity and innovation. The record emerged as the triumphant winner from an exhilaratingly eclectic shortlist of 10 highly acclaimed Scottish albums, which also featured Conquering Animal Sound’s Kammerspiel, Happy Particles’ Under Sleeping Waves, King Creosote & Jon Hopkins’ Diamond Mine, Mogwai’s Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, Mungo’s Hi Fi’s Forward Ever, Remember Remember’s The Quickening, Rustie’s Glass Swords, Tommy Smith’s Karma and Twin Atlantic’s Free.
The extensive search for the winner of the SAY Award has seen 100 music and arts industry figures from across Scotland nominate their choice for the Scottish album of 2011, before a longlist of the 20 highest-scoring records was then whittled down to 10 by the judging panel. The general public were also able to have their say by voting for their favourite album online and via a specially designed SAY Award app. Organisers were overwhelmed by the response, with more than 9,000 votes cast by music fans over the 24-hour public voting period, guaranteeing Twin Atlantic’s Free a place on the shortlist.
Everything’s Getting Older was eight years in the making. Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat’s debut album is a bruised and beautiful wonder: full of gorgeous, jazz-inflected love songs fleshed out with a mixture of spoken word pieces and vocals delivered in Aidan’s distinctive rhotic singing voice. Bill Wells is a Scottish multi-instrumentalist, composer, leader of the Bill Wells Trio and collaborator with The Pastels, Isobel Campbell, Future Pilot AKA and many more. Aidan Moffat is a modern-day Makar of many guises; Aidan John Moffat & the Best-Ofs; his experimental work as L Pierre (aka Lucky Pierre) and, of course, his esteemed calling as one half of the iconic Scots duo Arab Strap.
The SAY Award has been hailed as one of the UK’s most exciting and progressive arts prizes. From jazz to reggae soundsystems via folk, electronica, house, rock, dub, modern classical (and everything in between), the SAY Award celebrates the incredible stylistic diversity and richness of talent in Scotland’s musical landscape.
Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat will also receive an artwork from the winner of a unique SAY Award art commission. The commission, valued at £20,000, was offered to graduates from Scotland’s four principal art schools with the winning graduate producing ten artworks to be donated as prizes for the shortlisted finalists. In this pilot year, Glasgow School of Art Digital Culture graduate Fraser Clark has been awarded this significant art commission, which celebrates the vital, enduring links that exist between music and art, and further establishes the SAY Award as an ambitious new prize for the arts in Scotland.
One half of the Scottish Album of the Year Award winning duo, Aidan Moffat, said:
“It’s fantastic. I still can’t quite believe it. Obviously we’re very, very happy. It was a great shortlist. The Scottish Album of the Year Award is all about is introducing people to a wide variety of different types music – the award is very, very important from an industry point of view too and we hope there are many more of them.”
Bill Wells added: “We’re extremely chuffed, it’s been a fantastic night and it’s a tremendous honour.”
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, presented Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat with the prestigious award at this evening’s ceremony. She said: “Congratulations to Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat, winners of the first ever Scottish Album of the Year.
“In our Year of Creative Scotland, this new award is a fantastic celebration of Scottish contemporary music talent which enhances our international reputation as a hugely talented and creative nation.”
Caroline Parkinson, Director of Creative Development, Creative Scotland, said:
“Congratulations to Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat, to be awarded this accolade in the company of such talented artists is a significant achievement. The awards have been a brilliant way to connect music lovers with our many talented artists, in this the Year of Creative Scotland 2012. We look forward to seeing the results of the art commission by Glasgow School of Art Digital Culture graduate Fraser Clark.”
Stewart Henderson, Chair, Scottish Music Industry Association, said:
“It’s wonderful after over a year of the planning and development of this award to finally have a winner, and a winner deserving of all of the hard work that’s gone into this award. I’m thrilled for Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat, Everything’s Getting Older is a fantastic album. It’s a worthy winner and has set an incredibly high standard for future winners to follow.”
For the latest Scottish Album of the Year Awards news, check out www.sayaward.com,