The return of National Album Day: What it’s about and what’s on

A year on from its successful debut, National Album Day is set to return on October 12, with celebrations being held throughout the UK.

Teaming up with BBC Sounds –  who are supporting the day as an official broadcast partner – several events and activities have been set up to highlight the UK’s love of the album.

‘Don’t Skip’ is this year’s theme, encouraging music fans to listen to albums both new and old in full, in order to appreciate the entire body of work. This theme also serves to highlight the mental health benefits of listening to albums, which are said to provide listeners with a sense of musical mindfulness.

Several of the UK’s most prominent artists have signed up as ‘album champions’ in support of this years campaign, including No. 1 artist Lewis Capaldi, Mercury Prize winners Elbow, BRIT award nominee Mahalia and international producer/musician Mark Ronson.

Mahalia said she was supporting National Album Day to feel a sense of nostalgia.

“I see myself as an ‘album artist’, which in my world means timeless music that you don’t skip past,” she said.  “I want to make whole pieces of work that other little girls like me find comfort in listening to; a 40 to 60 minute dreamland where they can be away from the world. That’s why I’m supporting National Album Day. Streaming has changed everything. I want the kids younger than me to feel about albums how I did.”

 

A Deep Dive into Comic Con Scotland 2019

 

The continuing impact of the album

Despite the musical landscape being in a state of constant flux, albums have secured a high popularity in the UK, maintaining a strong cultural and economic relevance. As reported by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) earlier this year, 143 million albums or their equivalent were either streamed, purchased or downloaded in the UK in 2018, an amount that is worth approximately £1.3 billion in retail, and representing a near 6% rise on the year before. As part of this, 4.2 million vinyl LPs were sold, a 2000% rise since their low point in 2007 and the 11th year of consecutive growth for the medium.

An ERA tracking study in May 2018 provides further evidence of the formats continuing relevance, which showed that nearly 60% of respondents listened to in album in full a month prior to taking the survey. Despite the belief that albums are associated with older music consumers, the research suggested that younger fans were far more likely to have listened to an album with 55% of those polled aged 25 or below saying they had listened to an album in the previous week. In comparison only 45% of 45-54 year olds and 33% of those aged 55 and above could say the same.

Diana Ross set to play legend slot at Glastonbury 2020

In addition, recent studies have also highlighted the positive mental health benefits of listening to albums. A survey conducted in August this year specifically commissioned for National Album Day found that around 80% of participants use albums to relax and around 70% listened to Albums when they were feeling down or considered them a source of comfort.

Author and academic Dr Julia Jones said listening to an album helps listeners get away from the stresses of our daily lives.

“We’ve been aware of the scientific evidence regarding the positive effects of music on the brain and body for decades,” Dr Jones said. “We also know that taking ‘time out’ of our hectic schedules is essential to maintain our well-being. So the album offers a perfect recipe for delivering the cocktail of neurochemical and physiological benefits, while also ensuring we enjoy an extended break.”

 

What To Expect From National Album Day

In commemoration of the event, HMV has procured a list of 26 albums to be released as coloured vinyls on Oct. 11, just in time for National Album Day. This varied lineup features Queen, Lady Gaga and Mumford & Sons.

Each record will be available in HMV stores and are available for preorder online. For a full list of vinyls on offer be sure to check out the National Album Day website, here.

In addition, as part of Scotland’s celebrations, HMV Ocean Terminal will be hosting will be playing host to live music on the day, featuring local artists Acid Club, Screamin’ Whisper and Liam Clayton.

Outside of Scotland, a touring exhibition has been making the rounds throughout the UK, celebrating the variety of sounds within the country. After making several stops throughout the UK’s rail including Glasgow and Manchester throughout the month of September, the exhibition’s final stop will be in London with the event lasting until Oct. 19.

In terms of radio, BBC Sounds will be acting as the Official broadcaster for National Album Day, providing programming throughout the BBC Network.

For a comprehensive list of events throughout the UK be sure to click here for more information via the National Album Day website.

%d bloggers like this: