As predicted and previously reported last week, Mumford & Sons latest Babel has been a runaway hit. With official figures now in, it has been confirmed that the album has been released to the biggest debut sales week of the year, shifting approximately 600,000 units in the US according to Nielsen Soundscan, the biggest debut sales week of 2012.

Mumford & Sons confirmed their status as folk rock giants, dwarfing arena punks Green Day’s latest, ¡Uno! at No. 2 with 139,000 sold and the recently reformed No Doubt’s comeback album Push And Shove at No. 3 with 115,000. Babel has likewise taken one back from the Beliebers and smashed the previous biggest debut album of the year in Justin Bieber’s Believe, which came in with 374,000 sales.

What no one could have predicted however is the immense online presence these English lads’ sophomore LP would have. With its opening week coming to a close, we can now confirm that Babel has sold more than 420,000 downloads, and brace yourself – received 8 million (!) streams globally within its first week on Spotify – a new record for the popular streaming service.

While it has been the most streamed album of the week in the US, it is Australians who have taken to the new record most fondly; Babel has been the biggest release for Spotify AU since its launch this May, with 1 in 10 users having listened to at least one track from the album.

In light of the enormous statistics, Dave Bakula, a senior executive from Nielsen called Mumford & Sons “an album-driven artist.” Explaining, “They’re not going to have one single solitary hit that defines the album. People want everything they can get from this artist, and that’s where you get large album sales.”

These absolutely enormous figures underscore the worldwide trend towards digital music sales, as CD and vinyl sales begin to dwindle in comparison. As reported in June, digital album sales overtook physical during the first quarter of the year for the first time ever in the UK, accounting for 55.5% of income, spelling the impending doom of physical formats, despite the recent resurgence of vinyl records.

This tremendous debut also comes shortly after reports stating ‘old’ albums are currently outselling ‘new’ albums, Nielsen defining ‘old’ as an album being on the market for more than 18 months.

Mumford & Sons represent the push from an exclusive minority of high-selling artists that are bucking this trend, along with the likes of Taylor Swift and Adele’s monster-selling 21, and are set to swing the stats in favour of current artists for the second half of the year.

Australia is once again looking to set the English nu-folkies into the firmament of the year’s biggest sellers with a national tour commencing next week. Mumford & Sons are primed to take the country by storm as they bring along American pals, and Aussie favourites, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros.

News of their success also comes off the heels of the announcement that the boys will be spearheading another instalment of their Gentlemen Of The Road concert series in Dugong, New South Wales. The event sees Mumford & Sons embracing and celebrating “the local people, food and music” in a community centric mini-festival that embraces the local arts and businesses of a region.

With a lineup personally handpicked by the new-folkies, who will be headlining, joined by tour buddies 12-piece Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, as well as a host of Australian acts. Including Sarah Blasko, performing on the eve of the release of her fourth studio album, rising 22-year old star Matt Corby, Melbourne’s Husky, US singer-songwriter Willy Mason and a late-night set from mash-up maestros Yacht Club DJs.

In further promotion for their new album, Mumford & Sons also set up a unique pop-up shop in Sydney’s CBD, where fans could preview the new album, take in some live music – all while slugging back shots of whiskey into the night.

Stil haven’t heard the monstrous success that is Mumford & Sons’ latest? Well, if you’re a true fan, you could always increase those stats and have a listen to the album below… on Spotify no less…

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