2021 is set to be the best year for new British groups in over a decade as The Lathums join list of homegrown breakthroughs

Over a quarter of Number 1s on the Official Albums Chart this year have been from British groups.

The Lathums' chart-topping debut album is the latest success that is seeing 2021 on course to be the best year for new British groups in well over a decade.

The Wigan indie band land straight in at the top of this week's Official Albums Chart with their first full-length collection How Beautiful Life Can Be, topping off a successful year for the quartet. 

They are the latest in a new wave of guitar bands drawn from all over the UK breaking though and enjoying a high arguably not seen since the rise of the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Kaiser Chiefs and Keane, among others, in the mid-2000s.

Analysis by the UK record labels association the BPI shows that 11 of the first 39 weeks of 2021 - well over a quarter of the total (28%) - have seen a Number 1 album by a different British group. The upward trend compares with a figure of 17% in 2020 and 15% in 2019.

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Other new 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 hundreds of millions of streams of their global hit Heat Waves.

The rebirth of British rock bands has gained momentum in recent years, also led by the likes of Hyundai Mercury Shortlisted Bristol band Idles – whose Number 1 album Ultra Mono was the best-selling album of 2020 on vinyl.


The Snuts with their Official Number 1 Album Award for W.L.

Many more bands have enjoyed Top 10 success on the Official Albums Chart in 2021, including London group Public Service Broadcasting, whose new album Bright Music enters at Number 2 on this week's Official Albums Chart - their highest-charting record to date. Others include Shame, Black Country New Road, Pale Waves, Black Honey, Dry Cleaning and Squid.

With many more albums by British bands slated for release later this year – including The Specials, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Biffy Clyro and Don Broco - this figure is only likely to rise.

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BPI’s Gennaro Castaldo said: "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 fueled 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!"

Research by the BPI shows that while fans enjoy collecting albums by new artists on vinyl and CD, they also value being able to discover and enjoy new music through streaming, which is opening up the new wave of British bands to a global audience, contributing to the impressive stat that UK artists now account for 1 in every 10 global streams

British bands that have scored at Number 1 on the Official Albums Chart in 2021:

You Me At Six - Suckapunch (Jan)
Bring Me The Horizon - Post Human: Survival Horror (Jan)
Mogwai - As The Love Continues (March)
Architects - For Those That Wish to Exist (March)
The Snuts - W.L. (April)
London Grammar - Californian Soul (April)
Royal Blood - Typhoons (May)
Wolf Alice - Blue Weekend (June)
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds - Back The Way We Came Vol. 1 (June)
Manic Street Preachers - The Ultra Vivid Lament (Sept)
The Lathums - How Beautiful Life Can Be (Oct)