NEW YORK - British band Mumford & Sons on Wednesday topped the US charts again with the group’s third album, which is a shift from its folk roots to rock.

“Wilder Mind” sold 249,000 copies or the equivalent through downloads and streaming in the week through Sunday, debuting at number one on the Billboard album chart, tracking service Nielsen said.

The album, released on May 4, is the second by Mumford & Sons to top the US chart. The band’s last album, “Babel,” went to number one and in 2013 won the Grammy for Album of the Year, often considered the most prestigious award in the music industry. “Wilder Mind” marks a new direction for Mumford & Sons, who, despite the band’s London origins, was best known for its takes on American roots music, including bluegrass with the use of banjo and mandolin.

To record “Wilder Mind,” the band decamped to New York and turned to electric instruments. Mumford & Sons worked on the album with Aaron Dessner of the New York-based band The National, whose melancholic rock sound can be heard in much of “Wilder Mind.” Winston Marshall, the banjoist and guitarist, has said in interviews that the band was eager to move on following years of touring as an Americana band. “By the end of that, we were desperate to play something else, to do anything new,” he recently told Vulture, the cultural blog of New York magazine.

“Wilder Mind” is also largely set lyrically in New York, with songs inspired by locations including alternative chic Tompkins Square in the East Village and Brooklyn’s gentrifying old neighborhood of Ditmas. The album was produced by James Ford, known for his work with British indie rockers Arctic Monkeys. Number two on the Billboard chart was the latest album by classical crossover singer Josh Groban.