Where we ordinary people say ‘it is what it is’, a creative and prolific singer-songwriter like Beans on Toast aka Jay McAllister translates that as ‘you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube’. It’s a saying that fits well with the thirteen pure ‘acoustic punk’ songs on the newest LP by the London-based cult folk artist. We get a quite diverse album that doesn’t shy away from heavy and personal subjects, but above all evokes a warm and comforting feeling, not least thanks to the charmingly gritty vocals and surprising elements (from children’s voices to bagpipes). Whether it’s an uplifting sing-along about the AI revolution (AI) or a sensitive ballad for those we’ve lost along the way (Send Me A Bird – below is the video with a sparse and touching live version), this is a very entertaining listen.
The Toothpaste and the Tube, recorded with blues duo Ferris & Sylvester, is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP (self-released on Beans On Toast Music). For fans of Billy Bragg, Frank Turner, Gambles.