Mitski’s Laurel Hell Is The Top-Selling Album In America

Ebru Yildiz

Mitski’s Laurel Hell Is The Top-Selling Album In America

Ebru Yildiz

Ten days ago, Mitski released Laurel Hell, her sixth studio album. In the three and a half years since Mitski released Be The Cowboy, her last LP, Mitski temporarily stepped away from music, and she only became more popular. In the last couple of years, Mitski got huge on TikTok — not just one or two songs going viral, but her entire catalog. (My 12-year-old daughter is a big fan, and I had nothing to do with that.) Mitski was already a big deal in indie rock circles, but it’s still a genuine shock to learn that Laurel Hell, in its first week of release, was the biggest-selling album in America.

Right now, according to Billboard, Laurel Hell is the #5 album in the country. On this week’s album chart, Laurel Hell sits behind the Encanto soundtrack and the most recent albums from Gunna, Yo Gotti, and Morgan Wallen — a huge and unexpected triumph in its own right. But if you go by pure sales, Mitski dunked on everyone else.

In its first week, Laurel Hell earned 36,000 album equivalent units, the measurement that Billboard currently uses to balance out streaming and actual sales. (The Encanto soundtrack, at #1, earned 110,000 equivalent album units.) Of Mitski’s 36,000 units, 24,000 are actual sales, not streams or individual track purchases. Most of those sales are vinyl; Mitski moved 17,000 physical records of Laurel Hell in a week. That’s the biggest vinyl-sales week for anyone since Adele sold 35,000 copies of her blockbuster 30 last fall. This doesn’t mean that Mitski is anywhere near Adele’s level of pop stardom — she’s not — but it does mean that Mitski is a whole lot bigger than anyone previously understood.

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