Sometimes we wish that more artists would be as acute to timekeeping as Beans On Toast aka frontman Jay McAllister. Every year on the first of December, the singer-songwriter releases a new studio album to mark his birthday and gives him a chance to find inspiration from the last year with every full-length release. But with this becoming his tenth LP to date, he has taken less of a focus on the last twelve months and instead begun reminiscing about the last decade instead, opting to see how many things have changed since he first started writing music, making this his most personal record in his catalogue.
While the album begins in the usual Beans fashion, the single 'Another Year' marking the various changed he has seen since his last release, the rest of the release takes him away from his usual muse of politics and society, opting instead for more personal journeys and admissions throughout. Becoming a father for the first time has obviously had the most impact on his influence for songwriting this time around, as stories about his daughter make up the bulk of his intentions here, which end up adding an uplifting new life to the Beans On Toast sound.
No longer bogged down in the disarray of politics and general woe that usually dominates his records, 'A Bird In The Hand' sees a whole new man at the centre of this release. Notably happier with life and his own journey, the frontman has let go of many of his preoccupations since the last few albums, and instead delivered an album that looks for the beauty in smaller things rather than worrying about the big picture.