THE SHORTLIST for the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) award was announced this week, after a public vote whittled the list of acts from 20 to 10.

The SAY award was launched in 2012 by the Scottish Music Industry Association in partnership with Creative Scotland. It is designed to “celebrate, promote and reward the most outstanding albums by Scottish artists between January 2014 and March 2015”.

So who made it in? Broadcaster Vic Galloway commented after the announcement that he was “shocked that bigger hitters like King Creosote and Mogwai didn’t make the cut”.

Regardless, even though some genres are more under-represented than others, the list is still undeniably diverse. We’ve run through the final 10 albums and looked at their merits:

The Amazing Snakeheads: Amphetamine Ballads

A nomination for this Glasgow band will be bittersweet after they split up in February.

Frontman Dale Barclay ann- ounced via Twitter that the band were “never, ever to return” only a few months after the release of their one and only record. The aptly titled

Amphetamine Ballads is both unsettling and psychedelic, there are also strong hints of Nick Cave-esque punk-blues throughout.

Young Fathers: Dead

Having already won the Mercury Music Prize, and this very award for a different album a year ago, this Edinburgh trio must be considered one of the favourites. Despite the acclaim though, Dead is arguably their most dis- orientating album.

In contrast to their latest project White Men Are Black Men Too (released a month ago), Dead was built less around pop refrains and more on jumbo synths and relentless percussive sounds.

Slam: Reverse Proceed

Glasgow DJ duo Slam have helped keep the city’s EDM scene running behind the scenes for many years, especially with their label Soma Records.

Therefore, it’s always a treat when they release new material. Reverse Proceed is their latest exercise in tech-house wizardry. Considering they’ve been doing this for more than 20 years, it’s impressive how on the button they are with current trends too.

Kathryn Joseph: Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood I’ve Spilled

This one got a huge cheer at the announcement on Thursday, reflecting the passion that Joseph’s haunting debut album has inspired.

Relatively unknown and definitely underrated, Joseph has an incredible voice best described as a huskier Bjork and even that doesn’t do it justice. The arrangements here, mostly built around piano, are gorgeous too.

PAWS: Youth Culture Forever

Another album that has been well named, Youth Culture Forever present a particularly chaotic vision of youth with their disjointed lyrical approach and 90s rock influences.

It’s less catchy than Cokefloat, their previous effort, but PAWS are ironically more purposeful in their punk rock abandon. They sound meatier with heavier riffs and louder guitars, at least within the same lo-fi aesthetic.

Happy Meals: Apèro

Synthpop duo Happy Meals are one of the lesser known acts on the list but sound like absolutely nobody else here.

On first glance they fit nicely alongside the wave of other French synth-driven 80s revivalists that have sprung up in the past few years. They even sing in French, despite being from the Borders, which only contributes to the album’s enigmatic quality. This one’s a possible a dark horse.

Paolo Nutini – Caustic Love

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Paolo Nutini picked up the most votes in the public poll. As the songwriter has matured over the past few years, his popularity has only grown with it.

Previous detractors of the

Paisley man may find themselves surprised at Caustic Love, an album that fully embraces blue-eyed soul as opposed to an assortment of ideas like his previous releases. By committing to the style, Nutini seems to have found his artistic calling.

Errors: Lease of Life

A Glasgow four-piece that originally formed as little more than a bedroom project, Errors are now five albums in and have played with artists of every persuasion.

Defined as “post-electro”, although distinctly more rock-influenced on their previous records, if they seem hard to categorise it’s because they are. To complicate matters, Lease of Life is at once their danciest, grooviest and most progressive album yet.

Honeyblood: Honeyblood

On a list mostly dominated by men, it’s nice to see dreamy pop trio Honeyblood in the mix.

The two-person indie set-up might resemble other female duos such as First Aid Kit or Tegan Sara, but Honeyblood are brawnier instrumentally than a lot of their more cutesy sounding peers. There are some really catchy songs here too.

Belle and Sebastian: Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance

The twee pop collective’s first album in five years divided many long-term fans. Although Girls in Peacetime… has a different flavour to say, Dear Catastrophe Waitress, the quirky melodies that we all love are still present.

The more electronic influences could admittedly have been dispensed with, but this album does nothing to harm the band’s status as nothing less than a national treasure.