These are the artists putting the Scottish music scene on the global map. These are the albums that made 2020 not a ‘lost year’ in the Scottish music scene. The voices may be underground, but the world hears them heard loud and clear.
- Fair Mothers – Separate Lives
This album is a collaborative fusion of urban and folk by Kevin Allan; the Scottish musician celebrated for Through Them Fingers Yours and Mine. Separate Lives rides on Song, By Toad Records, the label that shut down mid-2018.
Highlighting inputs from an extensive cast of guest artists including Faith Elliot and a past SAY, Award winner, Kathryn Joseph, Separate Lives is crisp and expertly done, relaxing and humorous. Rainfall Canada is the leading single from the 20-piece project.
- Fair Mothers – Run Around the Sun
Sacred Paws got Carly Rae Jepsen to contribute to Run Around the Sun. It’s an uncanny mix of pop and afro-infused DIY hip-hop. You get ten fast-paced tracks here with Life’s Too Short on the lead.
The latter is a third track that could gear you for a party, but the lyrics focus on an AWOL lover. Shame on Me follows the same creative direction with warm and rubbery instrumentals but nostalgic lyrics about a past love.
- Gerry Cinnamon – Bonny
Bony is Gerry Cinnamon’s sophomore album coming after his famous anthems like That and Erratic Cinematic. He emerged ready to take care of business on his subsequent collection and lead sing Canter is a great piece that would have been a delight to hear at Hampden this late spring. The pandemic halted that.
- Blanck Mass – Animated Violence Mild.
Ben Power’s 4th studio album is an overwhelming 45-minute blend of punk, trance, house, and power ballads that sounds like nothing ever done by anyone before.
The Opener Death Drop is a stunning electro infused with heavy metal and a head-banging amalgamation of the house. This could be a perfect song to listen to when playing online casino games like those on this site if you believe that electronic blasting beats, scorched screams, and black metal can amp the game’s thrill.
- Declan Welsh and The Decadent West – Cheaply Bought, Expensively Sold.
Cheaply Bought, Expensively Sold from the political nonmainstream pop band shows that they can be East Kilbride’s solution to Arctic Monkey. The 12-track creation with Times on the lead is a blend of hard-hitting tracks with plenty of gentler materials.
Declan Welsh and Decadent West are vocal and never shy to publicize their political stands. They still think Brexit is a disaster, the super-rich gambling with all of Britain’s money.
- Lewis Capaldi – Divinely Uninspired to A Hellish Extent
As observed online, Lewis’ apparent flightiness may not be reflected in this chart besting and globally praised debut album. However, while, frankly, it flounders in self-pitying, now and then you hear regrettable distress.
However, there is no denying that these charmingly appealing radio-accommodating pop vocals uncover an exemplary musician fast on the way to stardom. Cry if you can. It’s allowed in 2020.
- The Kidney Flowers – Little Fingers
This presentation embraces the absolute best of the 90s alterno rock. Little Fingers is a trashy, punky, and stomping cracker resurrected from an old self-delivered EP, and it sounds like the sort of intense crash of the Pixies, The Fall, and The Walkmen that you would listen to over and over again.
- The Wild Places – Wires
Wires is a conventional guitar-bass-drums debut album from the Glasgow group. It reveals their creative diversity, taking you through reggae, pop, and surf with the consistent artistic integrity that’s synonymous with Radiohead. Fear City is a great tune from the album.
- Nova – Re-up
Nova’s Re-Up is a celebration of Glasgow’s DIY underground music scene. The collection takes audience members on an excursion through all-nighters, youngsters’ financial woes, and Nova’s unchecked truth. Checking in at only 18 minutes, the six-track EP impressed judges at this year’s SAY Awards.
At 18 minutes in length, Re-Up was the shortest creation on 2020’s ten-strong Shortlist. It features diverse acts from over the rap, hip-hop grime scenes, each generally making and delivering briefer pieces compared to artists in other genres. This is one of the styles you wouldn’t think had the potential to carry the day in the SAY awards, but it did.
It’s inspiring to see SAY accommodate and celebrate all forms of music across Scotland. Re-up’s win reflects the world’s agility to the changing trends in the recording and releasing music in 2020.