A Largs musician admits he is honoured to be shortlisted alongside the likes of Paolo Nutini for a top Scottish award.

Matt Hickman and band Brownbear have been longlisted for the Scottish Album of the Year Award for their second offering ‘Demons’, which was released earlier this year.

The singer says he was shocked to find out the album had made the top 20 for the prestigious award, which also includes top artists including Young Fathers.

Matt said: “It’s honestly an amazing honour and all that this album is achieving is beyond my wildest expectations.

“We made this record over lockdown and didn’t really know what we were going to do with it, but we put it out there and it has been a big success.

“We had a sold out album launch show back in March and we got in the top ten of the Scottish album charts not long after, so it has been a wild year.

“I am overwhelmed by the response to the record, and honoured to be mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Young Fathers and Paolo Nutini.”

Matt admitted that being listed alongside artists that inspired his career like Paolo Nutini is crazy, but said he is also so proud to be amongst them.

He explained: “The judges pick from over 400 albums and to be in the top 20 is just amazing and better than we could have hoped for.

“A lot of these bands are signed with major labels and have had huge tours, whereas we are just a small outfit from Ayrshire.

“Seeing Paolo come from the west of Scotland and seeing what he has achieved really gives you hope as a Scottish artist.

“The Young Fathers album is a masterpiece and was nominated for a Mercury Prize, so to even be in the same list as them is mad.”

Matt says he is proud of the album the band produced, despite musicians always finding second offerings harder to produce.

He said: “They always say it’s a difficult number two because you’ve got your whole life to draw on for your debut album.

“The second one doesn’t quite have the same experiences to draw on and it can often take a bit longer to produce.

“At the same time though you are getting older and you become more honest as a writer, so this album has come from a really vulnerable place.”

The Scottish Album of the Year longlist will be shortened to ten artists, who will attend an awards ceremony in Stirling later this year to find out the winner.