After last year’s Scottish New Music Awards, an involuntary shudder passed through me a few weeks back at the announcement of the Scottish Album of the Year award.

Fortunately SAY looks to be a credible attempt to create a Scottish version of the Mercury awards, fronted as it is to a large extent by Stewart Henderson from Chemikal Underground.

As far as I can make out, the 20 LP longlist has reached a critical point and is about to be whittled down to a 10 record shortlist.

I used the term ‘credible’ above and the 20 records seem that to me – whilst there’s a fair number I’d never heard of, no fewer than 4 of the records on the longlist appeared in my 2011 Top 10 Albums (although inexplicably not Martin John Henry’s ‘The Other Half of Everything’).

The shortlist is to be chosen by an 11 strong Judging Panel but there’s a potentially  interesting twist – there’s to be a public vote all day this Monday (14th May) on the longlist and the LP with the highest number of votes in the public vote will be included potentially ousting one of the judges’ original 10 choices.

I confess that I do have a nagging doubt about this public vote thing. Whilst it may indeed add something to the list which might not have made it, it doesn’t seem likely that the public choice will win if it wasn’t included in the initial shortlist. I mean, are the same people who left a record out at first time of asking  really going to decide that, no, after all they got it wrong and that it’s the best choice after all?

However (and this is quite a big but) the vote does seem like it’s an attempt to highlight the award and that seems to me to be an honourable goal.

So, on balance, I would urge you to vote. Of course, in my position as an independent music blogger, it’s actually hard for me to take up a public position on any particular candidate … wait, no, that’s the real job. So fuck objectivity.

Whilst I have every confidence that any right thinking panel of 11 judges will automatically include FOUND’S ‘Factorycraft’ in their shortlist, it can’t hurt to nudge them along on Monday by voting, can it? (And as far as I can make out there’s no danger of confusing your X’s with numbers this week).

Of course, if you’re otherwise minded, then vote for something else – taking part in the process is probably the most important thing.

So do your democratic duty and go here on Monday to vote. And if you don’t, then don’t come complaining to me about what’s on the shortlist!

The shortlist will be announced on Thursday 17th (I think).

Some reasons to vote: