The Official Folk Album chart – March 2024

The Official Folk Album Chart

On Tuesday 9 April the Official Charts Company in partnership with English Folk Expo revealed the Top 40 best-selling and most streamed folk albums released in the March 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.

This month’s chart features an unprecedented 18 new releases – including a new no. 1 and top three!

Straight in at no. 1 is Build Something Better (Robot Needs Home) by Britain’s most relevant political songwriter Grace Petrie. Produced by folk-punk legend Frank Turner, the album is for anyone whose broken heart beats for the hope of a brighter tomorrow. This DIY release also reached no. 27 in the main UK album chart, no. 6 on the UK sales chart and no. 1 on the UK download chart in its first week.

Coming in at no. 2 is All Now (Nonesuch Records) by The Staves, which marks Jessica and Camilla Staveley-Taylor’s first release as a duo, following their sister Emily’s departure. Far Out describe the record as, ‘simultaneously an existential nightmare and a beacon of optimism, its themes as vast as the musical talents of the Stavely-Taylor sisters themselves’.

The Light Fantastic (Townsend Music) by John Bramwell of the 2010 Mercury-nominated I Am Kloot lands at No. 3. He describes his first solo album in seven years as, ‘the most uplifting collection of songs’ of his career, despite being preceded and inspired by a tough few years of loss in many forms.

New at no. 4 is Mother (Chrysalis Records) by The Wandering Hearts, the only British act to debut at both the iconic Ryman Theatre and The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville in the same week. Their new album blends flavours that bring to mind Simon & Garfunkel, Fleetwood Mac and First Aid Kit.

songdreaming (Cooking Vinyl) the fourth album from Sam Lee is at No. 7. Continuing his work with producer Bernard Butler and long-term collaborator, arranger, and composer James Keay, in their five star review The Guardian describe the record as, ‘a moving tribute to Albion’s troubled soul’.

No. 8 is The Living Kind (Commoner) by John Smith. The record is a cohesive song-cycle and was cut over just four days in February 2023 in Joe Henry’s remote home in Harpswell, Maine, where temperatures dropped to -25 outside during recording.

Americana fusion duo Ferris & Sylvester’s second record Otherness (Archtop) rounds off our top ten at No. 10. The album is divided into three sides: Storm, Flood and Hope. Strand magazine says, ‘The duo used a 1960s tape recorder to record some parts of the album, whilst also mixing it with modern technology, creating a distortion which aptly reflects the name of the album.’

At No. 13 is Alan Hull’s Sing A Song In The Morning Light (Cherry Red/Grapefruit), a collection of largely demo tapes from 1967-1970 by the Lindisfarne legend who passed away in 1995.

No. 15 is Between The Moon And The Milkman (Quiet Crown) by Amelia Coburn, the first full-length record from the award-winning songwriter whose distinctive voice and unique storytelling talent has seen her emerge at the forefront of an exciting new generation of alt-folk voices.

Other new entries to the top 40 are:

On A Golden Shore (Loose Music) by The Hanging Stars at No. 17
Coming Home (Charcoal) by Cara Dillon at No. 18
Cold Sea (Outside Music) by Oisin Leech at No. 19
Martin Carthy (Topic) by Martin Carthy at No. 22
A Drop Of The Morning Dew (Crow Lane) by Serious Sam Barrett at No. 27
Early Retirement (Archtop Records) by Jack Francis at No. 30
Circus of Desire (Olivia Chaney) by Olivia Chaney at No. 31
Sledgehammer Songs (Joe Solo) by Joe Solo at No. 32
Two Down (Anna Massie) by Anna Massie at No. 40

The full Top 40 list can be viewed HERE