OFFICIAL FOLK ALBUMS CHART

The Official Folk Albums Chart is a monthly chart compiled by the Official Charts Company, produced by English Folk Expo and presented by the Manchester Folk Festival.

THE OFFICIAL FOLK ALBUMS CHART OF THE YEAR 2021 – TOP 40

Last night in a special live-streamed ceremony from London’s Cecil Sharp House, English Folk Expo and Folk on Foot presented The Official Folk Albums Chart of the Year Show 2021 to a worldwide audience. Presenting exclusive performances and counting down the year’s best sellers with host Matthew Bannister was singer-songwriter Kitty McFarlane stepping in for Lady Nade who had tested positive for covid just two days before.

The first live performance came from guitarist Gwenifer Raymond whose album Strange Lights Over Garth Mountain charted at No.37. Following some mesmerising finger-picking guitar work, she spoke of how great it was for her to be accepted into the folk community.

Despite being released at the end of the year, the magnificent Spell Songs II: Let the Light In entered the top 20 at No.19. Spell Songs, an ensemble of folk royalty were performing across town, so Matthew hot-footed it to Cadogan Hall earlier in the day to film three stunning tracks from their soundcheck exclusively for the chart show. Rhythmic and utterly magical.

The end of year chart show paid a moving tribute to Norma Waterson, arguably folk’s greatest voice whose death was announced earlier this week. Matthew Bannister recalled the time when filming Norma’s daughter, Eliza Carthy for the Folk on Foot podcast, she invited him into their home to catch a family sing-song. Viewers were privileged to see Norma do what she does best, singing with her family; an extraordinary occasion of warmth, musicality and joy.

One of the year’s biggest success stories was the astonishing achievement of singer-songwriter Katherine Priddy who performed two beautiful songs from her debut album The Eternal Rocks Beneath. Katherine confessed to popping a cork when reaching the No.1 slot despite her hope of a top 20 position! The album is at No.15 in Folk Albums Chart of the Year.

Further live performances came from Spiers and Boden with Kitty pointing out that Jon Boden had no fewer than three albums in the Top 40, and sea shanty sensation, the Longest Johns who performed a rousing version of Wellerman that has been streamed over 14 million times on Spotify and whose Twitch channel has been watched for over 10,000 hours.

English Folk Expo chief executive, Tom Besford talked algorithms and the drive to create the Official Folk Albums Chart as a way of keeping folk alive and in the public consciousness during lockdown. But for him, his joy is in “discovering so many fantastic albums and artists as a result of these charts. It’s really special”.

#TitleArtistLabel
1GOOD WOMANSTAVESATLANTIC
2SONG FOR OUR DAUGHTERLAURA MARLINGCHRYSALIS/PARTISAN
3WE GET BYJAMIE WEBSTERMODERN SKY
4THE HOPEFEROCIOUS DOGGRAPHITE
5LOST IN THE CEDAR WOODJOHNNY FLYNN/ROBERT MACFARLANETRANSGRESSIVE
6THIS IS REALLY GOING TO HURTFLYTEISLAND
7HAND ME DOWNKATE RUSBYPURE
8CONNECTIVITYGRACE PETRIEROBOT NEEDS HOME
9CURES WHAT AILS YALONGEST JOHNSTHE LONGEST JOHNS
10OFF OFF ONTHIS IS THE KITROUGH TRADE
11BOSSJAMIE WEBSTERMODERN SKY
12REASSEMBLEDBELLOWHEADHUDSON
13NATURE’S LIGHTBLACKMORE’S NIGHTEAR MUSIC
14FLYING INTO MYSTERYCHRISTY MOORESONY MUSIC IRELAND
15THE ETERNAL ROCKS BENEATHKATHERINE PRIDDYNAVIGATOR
16HENKIRICHARD DAWSON & CIRCLEWEIRD WORLD
17MAKE YOUR MARKSETH LAKEMANHONOUR OAK
18LIVE AT BARROWLANDS 2020PEAT & DIESELWEE STUDIO
19SPELL SONGS II – LET THE LIGHT INSPELL SONGSQUERCUS
20GLASTONBURY 92LEVELLERSON THE FIDDLE
21HEAVY ELEVATORHAMISH HAWKASSAI RECORDINGS
22AFTERLIGHTAFTERLIGHTMIGHTY VILLAGE
23PEACELEVELLERSON THE FIDDLE
24ARRIVALSDECLAN O’ROURKERHINO
25SETTLEMENTSTRAWBSCHERRY RED/ESOTERIC
26STILL AS YOUR SLEEPINGKARINE POLWART & DAVE MILLIGANHUDSON
27THE EMANCIPATION OF EVA GREYTHEA GILMOREMIGHTY VILLAGE
28FIRST FAREWELLPEGGY SEEGERRED GRAPE
29FALLOW GROUNDSPIERS & BODENHUDSON
30THE FRAYJOHN SMITHCOMMONER
31OLD WOWSAM LEECOOKING VINYL
32STRAIGHT OUTTA CALEDONIAJACKIE LEVENSCHOOL DAZE
33A PILGRIM’S TALESETH LAKEMANBMG
34THE BBC SESSIONS 1984-1986POGUESRHINO
35I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAYSJOHN FRANCIS FLYNNRIVER LEA RECORDINGS
36WHERE I SHOULD ENDSAINT SISTERIE TOO
37STRANGE LIGHTS OVER GARTH MOUNTAINGWENIFER RAYMONDTOMPKINS SQUARE
38WHERE THE WORLD IS THINKRIS DREVERREVEAL
39LAST MILE HOMEJON BODENHUDSON
40HOME RECORDINGSMARTIN SIMPSONTOPIC
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