Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott lead Official Albums Chart race with N.K-Pop as Easy Life pose a challenge

Former Beautiful South musicians Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott take an early lead, but could Leicester-formed alt-pop act easy life pose a threat?

The race for this week’s Official Number 1 album is on, as Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott take the lead midweek against Easy Life. 

Former Beautiful South singers Paul and Jacqui take an early lead at the midweek mark, with their fifth studio album N.K-Pop currently tracking for the top. Should it hold on, it’ll provide the pair with their second Number 1 album as a duo. Their last work, Manchester Calling, topped the chart in 2020. See Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott’s full Official Chart history here

But could Easy Life present a challenge with their second studio LP Maybe In Another Life...?

The Leicester-formed indie alt-pop outfit are hot on their heels and eyeing a Number 2 debut. Comprising Murray Matravers, Oliver Cassidy, Sam Hewitt, Lewis Berry and Jordan Birtles, Easy Life previously enjoyed success with 2020 mixtape Junk Food (7) and 2021 debut studio album Life’s A Beach (2). 

MORE: The Official Top 40 biggest albums of 2022 so far

Three weeks since its last stint in the Top 5, Pink Floyd’s Animals (2018 Remix) rockets 97 places back into the top flight midweek thanks to the release of a deluxe gatefold edition (3). The album achieved a Number 2 peak upon its original release in 1977. Explore Pink Floyd’s extensive Official Chart history here

Rock group The Cult could claim their first Top 5 record in 29 years with Under The Midnight Sun this week, as they track for Number 4. The band, made up of Ian Astbury, Billy Duffy, John Tempesta, Charlie Jones and Damon Fox, last achieved Top 5 success with 1993 chart-topper Pure Cult. 

Elsewhere in the Top 10, the viral success of Beyoncé’s latest single CUFF IT could see its parent album RENAISSANCE return to the Top 10 (7), while Sam Fender’s 2021 chart-topper Seventeen Going Under looks set to vault 45 places thanks to the release of a special anniversary repressing on wax (8).

Canadian indie pop export Alvvays look to enjoy their first-ever UK Top 10 album with Blue Rev this week. The group, comprising Molly Rankin, Kerri MacLellan, Alec O’Hanley, Sheridan Riley and Abbey Blackwell, previously achieved a Top 40 LP with 2017’s Antisocialites (28). 

Virginia-born heavy metal outfit Lamb Of God could see a Top 20 debut with ninth studio album Omens (eleventh if encompassing those released under former band name Burn The Priest), sitting at Number 13 midweek. Meanwhile, independent artist RJ Thompson could achieve his second Top 20 album, with Yearbook currently tracking for Number 14. Read our exclusive chat with RJ Thompson here

Charlie Puth’s latest release CHARLIE (16) is on course to become his third UK Top 20 album, while former Savage Garden frontman Darren Hayes could claim his first Top 20 LP in 15 years with fifth solo studio record Homosexual (19). Explore Darren's full Official Charts history here.

At Number 25 midweek, former Britain’s Got Talent champions Collabro could score their sixth Top 40 LP with their last release as a group, Be Still My Soul. And finally, South Shields-born Americana artist Ginger Wildheart’s eponymous album under Ginger Wildheart & The Sinners looks set to enjoy a Top 40 placing at Number 39. 

See this week's Official Albums Chart Update Top 100 here from 5.45pm.