XL Recordings is looking to score its third UK No 1 artist album this year as The xx's Coexist currently heads a market also including new releases by The Script and Bob Dylan.
The group's newly-issued second album had opened up a sales lead of around 25% over closest rival The Script's Epic/Phonogenic set Number 3 by the end of business on Tuesday with Columbia act Dylan's Tempest a few thousand sales further behind, according to the Official Charts Company.
If Coexist remains in front by the time the final chart is published on Sunday it will be XL's third UK chart-topper this year following Adele's 21 and Jack White's Blunderbuss. It will also mark a new chart peak for the group whose self-titled 2009 debut ultimately peaked at 3 following its Barclaycard Mercury Prize win, selling around 445,000 copies to date in the UK.
The Script, meanwhile, topped the chart with their first two albums and presently also sit at No 2 on the midweek singles chart with their will.i.am pairing Hall Of Fame, which debuted in the same position last Sunday. It is being outsold currently by You Bring Me Joy, the first single by Amelia Lily who finished third in the 2011 series of The X Factor. It is released by the writing and production team Xenomania's new label (also called Xenomania) with RCA.
Back on the albums countdown and at present four of the five top artist sellers are brand new releases with xx and The Script joined by Bob Dylan with his 35th studio album in third place and Parlophone act Pet Shop Boys' Elysium fifth. Dylan's last regular studio album, 2009's Together Through Life, topped the UK chart, although there was a festive release - Christmas In The Heart - in between these albums and this peaked at 40 in 2009. This was the same year of release of Pet Shop Boys' last studio set Yes, which debuted and peaked at 4.
The only non new entry among the top five sellers at this stage of the week is Coldplay's Parlophone-issued Mylo Xyloto whose sales are up 375% on the week following the band's performance at the Paralympics closing ceremony. It moves 20-4 in the midweeks. A number of their individual tracks could return to the singles chart as a result of that appearance this weekend with the latest Sales Flashes including Princess Of China with Rihanna up 51-30 (sales +88%), Paradise vaulting 92-41 (+225%), Viva La Vida improving 192-46 (+501%) and Yellow (+502%) and The Scientist (+446%) back in at 60 and 64 respectively.
Joe McElderry is also one of the new entrants among the Top 10 artist album sellers at this stage of the week with his UCJ set Here's What I Believe showng up in ninth position, while the Columbia act The Vaccines' Come Of Age is down to 6 having debuted at No 1 last weekend. Emeli Sande's Virgin debut Our Version Of Events drops 4-7 and Kistune act Two Door Cinema Club's Beacon 2-8, while Columbia/Roc Nation's Rita Ora falls 3-10 with Ora.
Another six brand new albums are among the Top 40 sellers outside the Top 10 and take in new sets from Atlantic's Canadian punk rock band Billy Talent, Positiva/Virgin's David Guetta with a "2.0" overhaul of his Nothing But The Beat, Vertigo/Mercury's ZZ Top with their first album since 2003, Melanie C on her Red Girl label, PIAS Recordings' Gallows, 4AD's David Byrne and St Vincent and City Slang's Calexico.
On the singles midweeks Ne-Yo's Motown/Mercury single Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love) is down to 3 having entered at No 1 last Sunday. Syco act Little Mix's former chart-topper Wings holds at 4, while Atlantic act Flo Rida looks like scoring a fourth consecutive Top 10 hit with I Cry climbing 11-5. Interscope/Republic's Good Time by Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen holds at 6, Mercury's Taylor Swift moves up 8-7 with We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, while Pink's RCA track Blow Me (One Last Kiss) slips 3-8, Sam and the Womp's One More Tune/Stiff-issued declines 5-9 and Tulisa's new AATW/Island single Live It Up featuring Tyga is new at 10.
The lead-off singles from two of the autumn's biggest new albums will also chart new Sunday. Vertigo/Mercury act The Killers' Runaways from the forthcoming Battle Born album is new at 15 on the midweeks and I Will Wait, the first taster of Gentlemen Of The Road/Island act Mumford & Sons' second album Babel, debuts at 19. A place below it debuts She Wolf (Falling To Pieces) by Positiva/Virgin's David Guetta featuring Sia.
The full midweek singles and albums charts are on musicweek.com.