Beans on Toast returns this Winter with a new studio album: ‘Survival of the Friendliest’.
Written with old friends Blaine Harrison and Jack Flanagan of the Mystery Jets, it’s an album that radiates with a genteel style and mellow warmth, reflective of the environment it was created in.
Released on 1st December 2021 via his own BOT Music imprint, it’s a record all about hope, positivity and camaraderie that chooses to celebrate the very best of human nature.
Written early-on in 2021, ‘Survival of the Friendliest’ is a direct reaction to the dreariness of those hard Winter months. Sidelining the endless negativity of social media, Beans turned back to nature and began to focus squarely on the brighter-sides and silver-linings of life, from a time when they seemed few and far between. The result is a record that finds the long-established protest singer changing his tune to one of eternal hope and optimism, peace and possibilities.
Taking its title from ‘Humankind’ by modern thinker Rutger Bregman, the book’s positive philosophies played a pivotal influence in shaping the course of the record.
‘Survival of the Friendliest’ also finds Beans in praise of the natural world and its rejuvenating qualities. From stones on the beach (“Stones”) to the geological processes that create them (“Blow Volcano Blow”), seeds of change (“Apples” featuring a poignant spoken word section from Dizraeli) to the spectacles that can bloom from them (“Tree of The Year”); Beans’ appreciation for mother nature has never been more vocal.
There is of course a love song, the head-over-heels charmer: “Let’s Get Married Again”. Apparently inspired by a flurry of wedding bookings the songwriter took-on in the absence of festivals this Summer, it finds Beans imagining what it would be like to marry his wife Lizzy for the second time. “It’s something we’re now going to do” he grins.
His first album since his relocation to Kent, ‘Survival of The Friendliest’ was recorded around the Summer solstice in the midst of a heatwave, a thunderstorm, a bird song, a glorious sunset and a midnight swim. With all the tracks laid-down in just under a week, the album was finalised at Big Jelly Studios in Ramsgate, where a cast of revolving musicians including the multi-talented gospel singer Sarah Telman (backing vocals, strings), Rosie Bristow of Holy Moly & The Crackers (accordion), Adriano Rossetti-Bonell (saxophone) and Graham Godfrey (drums) made the magic happen