Picking a winner for the SAY Award is always a difficult task.
Scotland's music scene seems to explode with creativity at every point, with the country – and it's mere five million inhabits – capable of producing everything from iconic post-rock to seminal indie pop and the odd beat for Kanye, too.
Yet this year must have been enormously complex. 2014 was a year in which every single person in Scotland asked themselves what it meant to be Scottish, a 12 month period marked by mass rallies, intense political debate and the single most important democratic process any Scot has ever been involved in.
Which is why it's so heartening to see Kathryn Joseph clutching this year's trophy. The Aberdeen artist's debut album 'Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood I've Spilled' isn't a fussy record, it's not a flash record – it's a simple, unadorned piece of music, one that speaks clearly and distinctly amidst an environment increasingly beset with noise.
At times meditative, at others screaming, 'Bones...' is a record which seems to overtake you at odd moments, demanding to be played at queer hours of the day and night. It's success – and it is, now, undoubtedly a success – has been slow coming, but no less effective for this.
A captivating live performer capable of remarkable warmth and intensity, Kathryn Joseph has won the admiration of her peers and contemporaries. Twitter literally lit up following her win, with fans both great and small utterly unified in showing their appreciation at her feat.
Above all this, though, it's a uniquely Scottish triumph. A record conceived, written and recorded in Scotland, it's success marked the power of the country's small but quietly confident music industry. When accepting her initial shortlist nomination, Kathryn Joseph made a point of noting the important support she has had on radio – and it's fair to say that many of the judges may have first uncovered her music when listening to stalwarts such as Jim Gellatly or Vic Galloway.
Kathryn Joseph's success is what the SAY Award was built to provide. Standing on the shoulders of the Scottish Music Industry Association, the award's profile and stature rides in tandem with the wider industry itself, with the nation's tight-knit warren of promoters, labels, journalist and broadcasters.
In a year fuelled by emotion-grabbing headlines, by controversy and division, the SAY Award panel have plumbed for an album which is shrouded in subtlety, whose quiet stature is rooted in certain timeless truths. It's a rich, wonderful gesture, one that it so warmly deserved and speaks volumes about the confidence within Scottish music and the nation as a whole.
Now, let's give it another spin...