Released on 1st December 2021 via his own BOT Music imprint, Survival of the Friendliest is a record all about hope, positivity and camaraderie that chooses to celebrate the very best of human nature.
Its first single is “A Beautiful Place”; a pastoral folk/rock song that finds an artist blown away by the beauty to be seen in humanity, history and our place in the galaxy.
As Beans says: “”A Beautiful Place” is hopeful, optimistic and downright happy. A celebration of humanity at large, the beauty of the world and the randomness of our existence.” he says. “It’s fresh, fun and will put a smile across your face.”
The song is accompanied by a bespoke lyric video shot on ‘The Street’ in Whitstable, Kent (where Beans has come to settle in recent times), which captures a rare natural phenomenon of a pathway leading out into the sea at low tide. Directed by Beans and filmed by old school friend Curtis Walsh; with the spirit of collaboration among friends also happens to be something of a recurrent theme throughout his upcoming album.
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.
“I wrote [‘Survival of the Friendliest’’] when the bad news was everywhere.” remembers Beans. “I switched off social media, looked to nature and zoomed out to write songs about a bigger, longer and stranger story. There are no songs about Brexit, about coronavirus, about climate catastrophe. I’d sung those songs already. I’m not naive to the challenges we face as a species and I’m not ignoring that. But in order to tackle our current predicament, I feel we need to be in a good place mentally and spiritually. This is an album about finding that peace in preparation for the road ahead.”
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. “[Bregman] explains why humans are fundamentally good and generally nice, we just get confused and focus on the negatives easily.” says Beans. “The title of the album points to the overarching theme, but as you can imagine things deviate a little, it’s a Beans on Toast record after all.”
“That book taught me more about England than 40 years of being English” says Beans. “After writing the song I sent it to Nick, went out to visit him and we’ve become friends. He came by the studio to lay down some banjo and sing on the song.”
With a smouldering, gently epic sound, “A Beautiful Place” was brought to life by Blaine Harrison of the Mystery Jets, who produced and plays on: Survival of the Friendliest.
“The record was produced by Blaine, quite possibly the coolest motherf**ker I know. Making this album was an absolute joy, I guess my hope is that if the listener gets a glimpse of that joy then we would have succeeded.”
An album about friendship, about creativity and humanity and about why those three things are important, ‘Survival of the Friendliest’ is exactly what the world needs now.
In support of the new album, Beans on Toast will be touring some of the UK’s finest independent venues with his brand new live band, which will feature many of the artists who contributed to the record. Split into two runs, tickets go on sale Friday 24th September and support comes from Camden’s finest KITTY LIV.
1/12 WHITSTABLE The Playhouse
2/12 CAMBRIDGE Storey’s Field Centre
3/12 COLCHESTER Three Wise Monkeys
4/12 GUILDFORD Boileroom
5/12 BEDFORD Esquires
6/12 COVENTRY Kasbah
7/12 ST ALBANS The Horn
8/12 TUNBRIDGE WELLS The Forum
9/12 BATH Moles
10/12 TRURO The Old Bakery
11/12 PLYMOUTH The Junction
12/12 EXETER The Phoenix
13/12 STROUD Prince Albert
14/12 READING Facebar
15/12 DERBY The Venue
16/12 STOKE The Sugarmill
17/12 LIVERPOOL Phase One
18/12 LEICESTER Soundhouse
22/02 PORTSMOUTH Wedgewood Rooms
23/02 BRIGHTON Chalk
24/02 NOTTINGHAM Rescue Rooms
25/02 LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
26/02 BARROW Underground Music Society
27/02 SHEFFIELD The Leadmill
01/03 HULL Social
02/03 EDINBURGH Voodoo Rooms
03/03 GLASGOW Stereo
04/03 MANCHESTER Gorilla
05.03 NEWCASTLE Tyne Bank Brewery
06/03 NORWICH Norwich Arts Centre
08/03 OXFORD The Bullingdon
09/03 BIRMINGHAM Castle & Falcon
10/03 CARDIFF The Globe
11/03 BRISTOL Lost Horizon
12/03 LONDON Lafayette