Nominations are now open for The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award.

It’s the tenth incarnation of the competition, and will see the act releasing what is deemed to be the best of the past 12 months receiving a prize of £20,000 – the winner to be announced at a ceremony on October 23rd at The Usher Hall in Edinburgh.

This is, hopefully, a sign that the music scene, and life in general, will be returning to some sort of normality, since the previous award – won by producer / rapper Nova for her debut album, ‘Re-Up’, took place online.

To be eligible for the 2020/2021 award (yes, we know) albums must have been released between June 1 2020 and May 31 2021.

As well as nine shortlisted albums all receiving £1,000, there are two additional prizes this year: The Sound of Young Scotland Award will help an emerging artist create their debut album, with the winner of £5,000 being chosen by a panel of previous SAY Award nominees, before performing at next year’s award ceremony.

There’s also The Modern Scottish Classic Award, celebrating an iconic Scottish album that has inspired music being made today, with the winner being selected by SAY Award longlisted bands and artists – with the winner being invited to perform at The SAY Award ceremony.

Creative Scotland’s Head of Music Alan Morrison said of the announcements: “In the absence of live gigs, we’ve spent the past year appreciating music in all its recorded glory.

“Vinyl was dusted off, CDs were polished, track after track was streamed. And, throughout that lockdown period, the power of the album shone through, providing a lifeline to a more positive world, sometimes creating moments of inner calm, sometimes connecting us to distant friends.”

On the subject of the new prizes, he added: “In 2021 we’ll celebrate not only the best Scottish album of the last 12 months but also a classic from the past and a launchpad for the future.

“The announcement of this year’s ceremony is the light at the end of the tunnel that every music fan has been waiting for.”

Artists, their labels, and music fans, can submit eligible albums at until midnight on Thursday 22 July 2021.