The Wigan indie band’s chart-topping debut comes as Official Charts and UK record labels association the BPI today reveal that 2021 is on course to be the best year for new British groups in well over a decade, with a new wave of guitar bands drawn from all over the UK breaking though – enjoying a high arguably not seen since the rise of the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Kaiser Chiefs and Keane in the mid-Noughties.
The Lathums, who have enjoyed a steady rise to fame over the past year, finish ahead of another group, Public Service Broadcasting, who enter at Number 2 with Bright Magic – the London group’s highest-charting collection to date and the best seller of the week in independent record shops.
Celebrating their chart-topping debut, The Lathums’ frontman Alex Moore told OfficialCharts.com:
“We’re four friends from Wigan who just love making music and are at Number 1 with our debut album, it’ll take a while for this one to sink in. It proves what’s possible for young, British artists with a pure-at-heart ambition to reach people with songs like ours, making friends every step along the way and finding that dreams can come true. How Beautiful Life Can Be is about seeing the good in things, holding on and coming through difficult times with a smile at the end. Today our smiles couldn’t be any wider. Thank you.”
New BPI analysis today shows that The Lathums’ chart-topping success means that so far in 2021, British bands have ruled the Number 1 spot on the Official Albums Chart for 11 out of the 39 Official Chart weeks – that’s well over a quarter (28%) 1. This upward trend compares with a figure of 17% in 2020 and 15% in 2019 2, and with many more albums by British bands slated for release later this year 3 this figure is only likely to rise.
While fans love collecting albums by new artists on vinyl and CD, being able to discover new music through streaming is enabling a new wave of British bands to rapidly build huge global audiences, and in the process contribute to the impressive stat that UK artists now account for 1 in every 10 global streams (source: BPI).
Other British bands that have recently enjoyed breakthrough success include West Lothian band The Snuts who back in April became the first Scottish band to score a Number 1 debut album since 2007 , plus Leicester’s Easy Life and Londoners Sports Team, while Oxford-based Glass Animals have had over a billion streams of their global hit Heat Waves. Many more have enjoyed Top 10 success on the Official Albums Chart this year, including Shame, Black Country New Road, Pale Waves, Black Honey, Dry Cleaning and Squid.
BPI’s Gennaro Castaldo adds:
“New British bands have been quietly breaking through in recent years, but this trend has really exploded in 2021, propelled by streaming and vinyl and fuelled by a new wave of brilliant guitar groups drawn from all over the UK. The Lathums are just the latest superb new band to make their mark, underlining that 2021 is shaping up to be the year of the new British band!”
Elsewhere on this week’s Official Albums Chart, last week’s Number 1, Drake’s Certified Lover Boy, drops to 3, and Natalie Imbruglia’s sixth record Firebird opens at Number 10 – the Australian artist’s fourth Top 10 collection and first in 14 years.
Further down, US alt-rockers Angels & Airwaves are new at 17 with their sixth album Lifeforms, Nirvana’s Nevermind rebounds 40 places to 28 on its 30th anniversary, mysterious metal band Sleep Token enter at 39 with their second record This Place Will Become Your Tomb, and MoStack bows at 40 with mixtape High Street Kid 2.