On Tuesday 6 June the Official Charts Company in partnership with English Folk Expo reveal the Top 40 best-selling and most streamed folk albums released in the May reporting period in the UK by UK and Irish artists. The chart is first announced to the public at 7pm GMT as part of the Official Folk Albums Chart Show presented by Folk on Foot via their YouTube channel.
There are 5 new releases in the May chart, including a new number 1.
Straight in at No. 1 is Tempus (Cooking Vinyl) by Skerryvore. The album is rich with the top tier musicianship that Skerryvore are renowned for, as well as an increasingly diverse musical palette. They’ve taken a rip-it-up-and-start-again approach to genre, blending anthemic highs, strident rock, stadium-ceilidh thrills and subtle dance beats into a sound that instantly transports the listener to a famously good-time Skerryvore gig.
Merry Hell are the 8-piece ensemble assembled from the remains of much-loved 90s folk-punk band The Tansads. Native to the North-West of England, they are driven by core members the Kettles, three brothers and one wife. The most recent release, Let The Music Speak For Itself (Merry Hell Music) comes in at No. 8, and distils 12 years together, 6 albums and 100s of gigs into a history and introduction to the band in all its moods.
In at No. 14 is Stretching Skyward (Blackfly) by triple Scots Trad Awards nominees Gnoss. Described by the band as an “album of change”, Stretching Skyward evolved as something of a concept album, inspired by historic Scottish tales, abandonment of ways of life, new beginnings and the passage of time. ‘Honey Wine’, from the album, is a song which recognises the Scottish travelling people known as the Nawken, whose roots go back to the 9th century.
Cadence (Free Dirt) by Cinder Well comes in at No. 27. The new album from Amelia Baker’s experimental folk project drifts between two far-flung seas: the hazy California coast where she grew up, and the wind-torn swells of Western Ireland that she’s come to love. Across nine tracks, Baker treads a sonic and lyrical path between the two coastal towns she calls home, her transcendental voice given new wings by the record’s sweeping arrangements.
Before I Knew What Had Begun I Had Already Lost (Grizzly Folk) by former journalist Jon Wilks is at No. 34. With his fourth solo album, he focuses on the songs that have moved him most over the last few, difficult years. While focused on lesser-known traditional songs, the acclaimed guitarist and singer includes three compositions of his own and brings together a collection of musicians with whom he has grown to love playing.
The full Top 40 list can be viewed HERE.