On Tuesday 7 February the Official Charts Company in partnership with English Folk Expo revealed the Top 40 best-selling and most streamed folk albums released in the January reporting period in the UK. 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 three new releases in the January Chart.
Straight in at No.1 is James Yorkston, Nina Persson and The Second Hand Orchestra’s The Great White Sea Eagle (Domino Recordings), the follow up to James Yorkston and The Second Hand Orchestra’s The Wide, Wide River – a Guardian Top 10 Folk Album of 2021. The record didn’t start life as a follow up; in early 2021, Yorkston began visiting his studio in Cellardyke, Fife and for the first time, started writing songs on the piano as opposed to his usual guitar, as he gazed upon the sea outside his window. After sending the first five or six songs to Karl-Jonas Winqvist (the ringleader/conductor of TSHO), they began to discuss working on the music together. With Yorkston’s shift from guitar to piano, they thought about what other changes they could make to their process which led to the involvement of a guest singer and the legendary Nina Persson (The Cardigans) was brought into the fold. They followed the same methodology as The Wide, Wide River – apart from James, Nina and KJ, none of The Second Hand Orchestra had heard the music prior to entering the studio – and the arrangements were made up on the spot.
Securely ranked among Scotland’s most skilled and imaginative contemporary folk acts, Breabach unite deep roots in Highland and Island tradition with the innovative musical ferment of their Glasgow base. Their latest of six released albums is Fàs (Breabach), which comes in at No.22. Fàs is a Gaelic word meaning growth, developing and sprouting,. Breabach are Megan Henderson (fiddle/vocals), James Lindsay (double bass/moog/vocals), Calum MacCrimmon (Highland bagpipe/whistle/bouzouki/vocals), Conal McDonagh (Highland bagpipe/Uilleann pipes/whistle/vocals) and Ewan Robertson (guitar/cajon/vocals). Fàs is heavily inspired by the natural environment of Scotland and sees the band showcase more progressive elements in their music than ever before. The protection, conservation and regeneration of the natural world influenced every part of the album making process, from song composition and sourcing material to the recording process and album production.
David Carroll & Friends
At No.29 is Bold Reynold (Talking Elephant), an album by David Carroll and Friends (Gryphon’s Dave Oberle, Graeme Taylor and Brian Gulland plus Fairport Convention’s Chris Leslie and Dave Pegg, with Tom Spencer from The Professionals and The Men They Couldn’t Hang, and Lucy Cooper). Bold Reynold puts the rock back into folk rock with seven traditional songs, a Dave Cousins classic and an epic version of The Last Leviathan. With instrumentation ranging from crumhorns, cor anglais and uilleann pipes through fiddle, tabla, bouzouki and dulcimer to bass, drums and electric guitar and all stops in between, this is a soundscape not to be missed. After appearing on numerous recordings for other people the idea of a solo album fermented over several years and, bolstered by offers of help from many good friends, (including all the above!) the ideas and arrangements finally surfaced in 2022.
View the Top Forty Albums HERE.
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