BAMS 2014 – The Result


The Twilight Sad’s fourth album, ‘Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave’ has emerged as the winner of the sixth annual poll of Scottish Blogs and Music Sites (BAMS).

The Twilight Sad pipped ‘Rave Tapes’ by Scottish indie veterans Mogwai in a straight head to head shoot-out between the top two albums.

Inaugural winners the Phantom Band again had a strong showing with 3rd LP ‘Strange Friend’ finishing third ahead of the fast finishing Withered Hand, whose ‘New Gods’ squeezed into fourth ahead of the self-titled debut from Honeyblood in fifth.

Scottish acts filled the BAMS’ top 7 slots with St Vincent the top international act in eighth place ahead of Caribou in 9th.

The Twilight Sad frontman, James Graham reflected on the band’s success:

BAMS – Congratulations, Nobody Wants To Be Here, Nobody Wants To Leave is this years’ winners of the Scottish BAMS award, how does it feel?

 James – “Really good. I think I found out last week, and I told my Dad right away. He was like, ‘well done son!’

“I’ve said a few times that last year was a big year for us, and to have released the record that we’ve released and to have got the reception that it’s got has been a massive thing for us.

“I don’t want to be melodramatic and say it’s saved the band, but it kind of has in a way. When you release something you don’t really know [how it will be received]. You can like it as much as you want, but ultimately in the long run, people have got to like it to have any sort of success or be able to make another one.

“So to be voted number one for the BAMS is pretty mental for a miserable bunch of guys from Kilsyth. It’s great though. We really appreciate it, and things like this don’t happen to us all the time, so it’s really cool.”

Previous winners of course include The National, The Phantom Band, Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat, and last year CHVRCHES. Good company to be amongst.

 J – “Aye I’m a fan of every single one of those bands and the records that won. Bill and Aidan’s record [Everything’s Getting Older] is one of my favourite albums of all time.

“It’s great though, those bands are bands we aspire to be like. And to be in that company is phenomenal. To be in the position where we are mentioned in the same breath as those artists; 16-year old James would have told you to fuck off. So aye it’s nice. It’s been a good year for once. Don’t worry we’re not going to write a happy album after it!”


When you’d finished recording the album, how did it match up to your expectations?

 J – “It’s just another stage, it’s who we were in our lives, that’s what it was. I’m enjoying playing them [the new songs] live. It’s now a case of what do we leave out, instead of in the past we’ve not got enough songs. Now we have to leave songs out and we want to play the full record, which shows you how much we like the record. I think we can all look back on it and say we did a good job.”

How important do you feel that the support of music blogs has been to the band?

 J – “I think it’s been, and I’m not just saying this, it’s probably been one of the most important things for our band. When we started out, it was blogs and things like that that helped spread the word about our music. And through every release we’ve had we’ve constantly had that support. We’re not a band that is on the front of magazines or in big features, and in some ways I like that. I mean if that comes along, then that comes along and that’s great.

“But the best thing about it, is that it’s the actual real genuine people who are writing about music because they give a fuck about it, that are actually writing about our band and spreading the word about our band. And I think that’s a pretty cool thing to have that kind of support. And it’s something that I hope people see that we appreciate and don’t take for granted, because I’d like to keep that relationship going.

“If people keep liking our music, then we’d like to move forward with everyone and at the same time promote the blogs. And if we do that then maybe someone discovers a blog through our music. It’s a two way thing. If we promote the blogs, you get more readers who will then can discover another new band who you are promoting. And it’s all about getting people to listen to new music and music that’s good instead of the usual shite.

“We are really appreciative that we have that support, because the main goal for us is to reach as many people as we can and without that support we wouldn’t have reached as many people as we have at this point.”

And finally, what has been your favourite album of 2014?

 J – “I had quite a few actually. I’m obviously a massive Mogwai fan, so Rave Tapes was always going to be on that list. I really liked Perfume Genius’ album, Too Bright, I found that really interesting. Angel Olson, her record with the long song title [Burn Your Fire for No Witness], which is ironic because I can’t slag anyone for that as we have the longest going. I liked Alvvays. I only got into the Alvvays record at the end of the year. It was one of those ones where people had been talking about it, and I saw their name about, but I purposely avoided it, but then I listened to it and it was great.

“The Phantom Band’s record [Strange Friend] was really good. Remember Remember’s record, Forgetting The Present, that was really good record. I listened to The War on Drugs [Lost In the Dream] that was great record. Sharon Van Etten, I like that.

“There was quite a lot last year. I saw a few people saying it wasn’t that great a year for music, but I probably listened to more than I had in a while.

“Andy doesn’t listen to new music at all! He’s going back the way. He’s listening to old ‘60’s bands and stuff like that. Which is pretty cool, it’s a good contrast. He still does listen out for the new stuff, but he is neither here nor there about it. Although he really liked the Shellac record [Dude Incredible].

“Devine listens to Britpop I’m pretty sure all the time! But Devine does have good taste in music as well. I actually don’t know what he listened to last year. Think we were too busy having our headphones on and not talking to each other!

“Johnny, who plays bass, he’s into some of the same stuff as I’m into it. But then I can hear him in the van and it just sounds like it’s pure death metal that’s just coming through his headphones. He’s one of these guys who looks so chilled out, but it’s like ‘drrrrrrrrrrr’ double kicks going in his head.

“And Brendan, who plays keys, he’s kind of the same as me. He and I talk about new releases more than probably anyone in the band.”

The 2014 BAMS Top 30 in full:

  Pts No of votes
1 The Twilight Sad – Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave 239 16
2 Mogwai – Rave Tapes 222 15
3 The Phantom Band – Strange Friend 166 11
4 Withered Hand – New Gods 157 10
5 Honeyblood – Honeyblood 150 10
6 Young Fathers – DEAD 140 9
7 Jonnie Common – Trapped in Amber 132 9
8 St Vincent – St Vincent 104 6
9 Caribou – Our Love 102 7
10 The Amazing Snakeheads – Amphetamine Ballads 94 6
11 The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream 90 6
12 King Creosote – From Scotland with Love 87 6
13 Bastard Mountain – Farewell, Bastard Mountain 83 5
14 We Were Promised Jetpacks – Unravelling 78 5
15 Fatherson – I Am An Island 75 5
16 PAWS – Youth Culture Forever 70 6
17 Randolph’s Leap – Clumsy Knot 64 4
18 Stanley Odd – A Thing Brand New 60 4
19 Call To Mind – The Winter Is White 59 4
20 Swans – To Be Kind 48 3
21 Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 2 46 3
22 Machines In Heaven – bordersbreakdown 44 3
23 Ought – More Than Any Other Day 43 3
24 Last Battle – Lay Your Burden Down 42 3
25 Sun Kil Moon – Benji 40 2
26 Aphex Twin – Syro 37 3
27 Beerjacket – Darling Darkness 36 3
28 Martha – Courting Strong 36 2
29 Taylor Swift – 1989 35 2
30 Warpaint – ‘Warpaint’ 34 2

BAMS Facts

In 2014:

  • 37 writers voted for 192 albums (3 less voters than 2013 but 28 extra albums!)
  • 53 albums received more than 1 vote (66 in 2013).
  • 27 different albums received first preference votes (28 in 2013)
  • Ten albums received multiple first preference votes in 2014 (compared to 5 in 2013). The bands who received more than 1 first preference vote were:

The Twilight Sad, Withered Hand (3), The Phantom Band, Caribou, The Amazing Snakeheads, Bastard Mountain, Randolph’s Leap, Sun Kil Moon (2)

  • The highest placed album without a first preference vote was #7 – Jonnie Common – Trapped In Amber.
  • 11 albums with first preference votes didn’t receive any other votes (8 in 2013) although Sun Kil Moon received only 2 first preferences!
  • Somebody voted for Coldplay!

Previous BAMS winners:

2009 – The Phantom Band – ‘The Wants’
2010 – The National – ‘High Violet’
2011 – Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat – ‘Everyone’s Getting Older’
2012 – Meursault – ‘Something for the Weakened’
2013 – CHVRCHES – ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’

The 2014 BAMS were:

Scottish Fiction, Bluesbunny, Jim Gellatly, Almost Predictable Almost, Vic Galloway, Detour Scotland, The Spill, The Steinberg Principle, Haiver, For Malcontents, Netsounds Unsigned, Is This Music?, Manic Pop Thrills, Last Year’s Girl, Tenement TV, Dear Scotland, Marion Scott, 17 Seconds, Alan Morrison (The Herald), Through The Wire, Post Nothing, Glasgow Podcart, Everything Flows, Avalanche, Elba Sessions, La Terrasse, Edinburgh Man, The Skinny, Alive & Amplified, Song By Toad, The Pop Cop.