THE SHORTLIST for this year's Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award was revealed last night – nine decided by a panel of judges; one by public vote – and suggests that our music is in rude health. From international big-hitters (Chvrches) to bedroom-made debuts (C Duncan), the list features hip-hop, world music, disco, indie, folk and much besides.

Half of these artists have been nominated in previous years (Auntie Flo, Chvrches, Lau, Steve Mason, Young Fathers), and three are debuts (Anna Meredith, C Duncan, The Revenge); all are adventurous, remarkable albums.

Anna Meredith – Varmints (Moshi Moshi)

A brilliant classical composer with a thrilling knack for audacious electro-pop, Anna Meredith underscores all that's great about Scottish music in Varmints: inventive, genre-defying, poetic, warm-hearted, collaborative and forward-facing. Meredith's inaugural pop album is a landmark debut from a singular talent, sometimes awash with choral ambience, sometimes pounding with club bangers, never less than compelling, surprising and beautiful.

Auntie Flo – Theory Of Flo (Huntleys and Palmers)

No one makes dazzling, continent-straddling house music quite like Auntie Flo. The man also known as Glasgow's Brian D'Souza teams up with Cuban musicians, Ghanaian vocalist Anbuley, Shingai Showina (The Noisettes / Matthew Herbert) and long-time South African collaborator Esa Williams on Theory Of Flo: a kaleidoscopic album that journeys through African electro, South American beats, Italo-house pianos and myriad global ecstatic treats.

C Duncan – Architect (Fat Cat)

A meticulous debut in every sense, the Mercury-nominated calling card from Royal Conservatoire graduate Christopher Duncan comes packaged in a fastidious, hand-painted map of a Glasgow street, and the music follows suit. Its detailed journey through harmonic dream-pop and chamber electro is atmospheric, quietly adventurous, and haunting – but never disorientating.

Chvrches – Every Open Eye (Virgin)

The second album from electro-pop icons Chvrches, pictured, sees the Glasgow trio hone their focus on gleaming minimalism, dance-floor anthems and immaculate R&B. They're global pop superstars these days, and rightly, but they're also a credit to Scotland's rich indie heritage: all three variously played in Aereogramme, Blue Sky Archives and The Twilight Sad (among others) in the past.

Emma Pollock – In Search Of Harperfield (Chemikal Underground)

Emma Pollock has quietly transformed our musical landscape over the past two decades. A former member of Mercury-nominees The Delgados, and co-founder of Scotland’s revolutionary indie label Chemikal Underground, she's one of our most significant voices – equal parts Dusty Springfield and Chrissie Hynd – and her third solo album of chamber-pop torch-songs and post-rock poems is a career-high.

FFS – FFS (Domino)

Over 40 years ago, LA art-rock livewires Sparks tore up the UK charts with their flamboyant punk-opera epic, This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us. They've blazed an absurd and fantastical pop trail ever since, but perhaps the duo's most surreal act to date is bagging the SAY Award public vote, thanks to FFS: their Vaudevillian disco tryst with Glasgow arch-pop swashbucklers Franz Ferdinand.

Lau – The Bell That Never Rang (Reveal)

Long revered for their high-octane live shows, Lau are a band that never stop. An exhilarating folk trio with a penchant for experimentation, electronica and rock 'n' roll, the dynamic, boundary-trashing trio recruited Joan Wasser (aka Joan As Police Woman) to produce this album, and the results are stunning – not least on the knockout title track, which stars the Elysian Quartet.

Steve Mason – Meet The Humans (Domino)

Former Beta Band trailblazer Steve Mason is quietly establishing himself as one of our best-loved singer-songwriters. Variously coming on like a psychedelic troubadour, a protest-pop beacon and an East Neuk Paul McCartney, the artist formerly known as King Biscuit Time comes into his own on Meet The Humans. It's as warm and at home as he's ever sounded.

The Revenge – Love That Will Not Die (Roar Groove)

Graeme Clark, aka The Revenge, is a Glasgow disco aficionado whose first official long-player is notable for being a masterclass in classic house, for boasting the best-named song on this shortlist (Incredible Shellsuit), and for starring a cameo from pop legends Sister Sledge, on groove-funk trip, Stay A While. This record is as forceful, and timeless – and hard to shake off – as its title suggests.

Young Fathers – White Men Are Black Men Too (Big Dada)

Outstanding pop radicals Young Fathers bagged 2014's SAY Award for Tape Two (and the Mercury Prize that same year, for Dead) and they're rightfully back on the shortlist again with another exceptional offering that assembles and annihilates notions of hip-hop, protest-pop and electronica. There's no one like them.

The winner of this year's £20,000 SAY Award will be announced at Paisley Town Hall on June 29. All shortlisted acts receive £1000.