News updates for Try the Pie

Try the Pie at Radio Static Philly


Try the Pie at Three Imaginary Girls

I’m a sucker for lo-fi confessionals. Having someone more eloquent than myself detailing my ownself-conscious inner dialogs comforts me and cushions my own nervous conclusions and assumptions.

The new Try the Pie album, Rest, hits all those chords of hopes and fears and longing and lust.Imagine the minimalist beauty of early Kim Deal demos after she binge listened to the Softies and the first Bright Eyes album. The complex storylines make me feel settled and less alone – a great companion to our short days and months of wintertime darkness.

And Three Imaginary Girls is honored to be able to offer you a chance to hear it first!Behold, our first, post-relaunch exclusive album stream.

If you want to jump to hear one or two tracks, my picks are “Bunkbed” and “Root to Branch.”

Try The Pie is the songwriting project of San Jose based Bean Tupou, who you might know from the bands Sourpatch and Crabapple. This new project is intimate, to say the least. As Bean explains:

“Alu’a” is the Tongan word for goodbye when you are staying and the other person is going. “Rest” is an album dedicated to this sentiment. I wrote the songs over a duration of three years (2005-2008) and recorded it in the last year by myself in my room in San Francisco. Sometimes you can hear someone doing dishes or the beep of a dying smoke-detector. “

The album is quiet and compelling. You can connect with Try The Pie on facebook and hear more music and/or purchase the album on bandcamp. Have a listen!


Try the Pie at Innocent Words

Try The Pie is the songwriting project of San Jose-based musician/writer/artist Bean Tupou. ‘Rest’ is a seductive mix of sugar and citrus, as achingly sincere as Kim Deal at her finest. You can’t help holding your breath to hear how the story ends.

“I wrote the songs over a duration of three years (2005-2008) and recorded it in
the last year by myself in my room in San Francisco,” Tupuo said. “Sometimes you can hear someone doing dishes or the beep of a dying smoke-detector. This album is an example of the slow, whispering tempo, slanted harmonies and embellished metaphors that I grew up listening to.”

As part of the bands Sourpatch and Crabapple, and as one of the creative forces behind the Think and Die Thinking Collective, Tupou has been a fixture on the South Bay’s DIY punk scene, crafting socially-conscious and catchy punk rock while helping creates spaces that are open, accepting, and fun—a universe of gender-neutral pronouns & queer-positive politics.

It’s a record so intimate it feels almost like you’re eavesdropping. You unconsciously hold your breath to keep from being noticed. The songs are littered with household objects, embodied and alive. References to neighbors and roommates abound. Listen to ‘Seahorse’ and hear a story of immobilization and the struggle to stay afloat, simultaneously wistful and withdrawn, youthful and yearning.

“…you are trying to figure out who you are and what you are about, so you make the decision to deal with things privately. When I made ‘Rest,’ I made CD-Rs and just slipped them underneath my roommates’ doors and gave it to people I knew.”

Rest is the sound of a fragile sensitivity—the avalanche of life communicated through tentative wishes and plaintive regrets. An album so open and honest that its very existence is an act of bravery. And when so much of our lives are consumed by fear and what others will think of us, the masks we create to make other people happy, we need records like this more than ever.

“Seahorse” is one of the earliest written songs on the album, along with “A Lot of Things” and “F.Y.I.”. I use the drawn out tempo of the guitar to evoke a watery feeling, like being tugged back and forth by tide. The lyrics are a type of demystification process for me: “I do get farther each and every day.” It was coming out of illusions that love is this perfect thing. I wrote it the first time I got my heart broken,” said Bean Tupou.

“I use the idea of the seahorse specifically because of the male pregnancy the species experiences. I also thought about the fact that these animals do not mate for life, despite these anthropomorphic ideas that these animals are strictly monogamous. Grieving can be a process of redirecting expectations and this song is definitely about grief.

The beep at the beginning of the recording (which sounds like this nautical submarine beep to me) is actually from a smoke detector. I had a fireplace in my room at the time that was not in working order and, instead, had a bunch of wall smoke detectors piled inside of it that would beep occasionally.”


Try the Pie at The Bay Bridged

South Bay-based musician Bean Tupou of Try the Pie is involved in a variety of projects in support of the DIY community, from the San Jose collective Think and Die Thinking to the twee-punk act Sourpatch among others. Using music and art as a platform for socially conscious messages and queer-positive politics, Tupou skillfully offers a hand at helping to create spaces that are inclusive for the underrepresented—-coming from a queer Tongan background themself.

Try the Pie’s first full-length, Domestication, was released earlier this year; its follow-up is Rest, an album of various writings taken from 2005-2008, compiled together and self-recorded in the musician’s bedroom in San Francisco. The solo effort allows Tupou to open up to listeners; beyond the music itself, the approach captures natural, raw sounds that remind us of the comfort of home. Featuring an array of distant background noise — from dishes being washed to the beeping of a dying smoke detector — Rest is an incredibly personal music experience, although capturing the listener’s attention in the intimate story is never overlooked. Tupou remarks,”‘Alu’a’ is the Tongan word for goodbye when you are staying and the other person is going. ‘Rest’ is an album dedicated to this sentiment.”

The album, out via HHBTM Records on November 13, is fragility at the musician’s finest. Stream it for yourself in the player below.


Try the Pie at Collective Zine

I mentioned on a recent review of Jess Locke’s LP that I’d been listening to a lot of downbeat, bedroomy recordings lately and I think this one fits in well with that. Try The Pie is the solo work of Bean Tupou who is based in San Jose and is also a member of Crabapple and Sourpatch – neither of whom I’m familiar with and likely sound absolutely nothing like this but I feel like I might want to check out both bands having heard this record now. Bean’s vocals are light and airy and it’s mainly acoustic guitar that accompanies the singing although there are a few background things going on – even the sound of dishes being done at one point. It’s all quite delicate and there are nice harmonies along the way. I like this kind of stuff so am glad it was sent in. I’ve also learnt my first word in Tongan as a result of writing this review and reading the Bandcamp page.


Try the Pie at Impose

It’s probably because I’ve spent most of my life writing that it’s only now, as I’m in a band, that I’m feeling the effects of reception. When you write 90-page screenplays, it is both fortunate and unfortunate, that few, if any, people end up reading them. I’ve never had to worry about authenticity or selling myself. I’m more or less anonymous.

With my band, Littler, however, I perform. I can read about myself on the internet. Nearly half of questions directed towards me (by people at a show or interviewers) have to do with my gender. As someone, by and large, raised by a single father, my female self is something I’ve struggled to own. This process felt normal until I started to feel as if I needed to have solidified my identity in order to fit into this grander, musical narrative put on me. These types of narratives, whether they relate to a person’s gender, race, sexuality, or as any other foothold into an artist’s story, are everywhere, all the more so because of the internet.

In some ways, it would seem that being in a band now is easier than ever. Record a demo on GarageBand, put it on the internet. Voila. But, while it’s true that it’s easier to get your stuff out there, the collective attention span is shorter. This means there’s a larger emphasis on having a story that can make you distinct from the masses. On a less cynical note, this also means, if you want to, you can craft your own narrative. You can sell yourself any way you want, provided you’re not working with people who want to do that for you. Particularly for people of marginalized communities, this is really important, because often the opportunity to write your own story is not given to you. Much of the time, some journalist, superficially acquainted with you, will write it for you.

For one reason or another, the narratives that are being woven are uncomfortable to talk about, whether for their benefits or their shortcomings. However, to neglect to do so would be a mistake.

Here are some narratives that I encounter and am uncomfortable with. I’ve listed below the reasons why.

I wish I had started playing music earlier but I didn’t. Now I worry that I fit into a stereotype of a lady who is not as experienced at her instrument, and bring all other really, talented ladies down by being a reason for dudes to not take us seriously.

This is dumb and I shouldn’t have to feel personally responsible for the fact that ignorant dudes don’t take women seriously. I am not emblematic of 50% of the population and if you are the kind of person who thinks this sort of thing anyway, whether this manifests in literal comments like, “Girls don’t know how to play their instruments,” or patronizing gestures like adjusting my amp, you are the problem. Not me.

A variation on this theme is feeling like I always have to be tough, that my band, by virtue of three-quarters of its members identifying as female, will have to be political, and that I can’t ask for help when I need it. All of these things only seem really unfair in comparison to bands with dudes. They exist, they pave their own way and no one is asking them about feeling out of place, how to fix inequalities within the punk scene, or asking them why they chose to play with other dudes.

Click through to see the rest!


Try the Pie at Magnet

Try The Pie’s sound is like a lazy early morning—it’s uplifting but peaceful. The new song from San Jose songwriter Bean Tupou is called “Alu A,” and it drifts along a river of beautiful weaving vocals and a barren acoustic strum. The track comes from her the upcoming Rest, which will be released November 20. Download “Alu A” below.


Try the Pie at With Guitars

Click through for the release announcement!


Try the Pie at Austin Town Hall

I was looking for something gentle and innocent today, so it’s a good thing that we got this new track from Try the Pie in over the weekend. It’s the writing project of Bean Tupou, and it’s got this great recording quality despite sounding like these song’s are all coming straight from Bean’s bedroom. Musically, it’s quite intimate, as this song displays, allowing listeners to experience Tupou’s life for themsleves; she wants nothing more than for you to be a part of your world. Her new album is titled Rest, and will be released via HHBTM on November 13th. She’s also currently touring all over the States, so see if you can catch her live while she’s out there.


Try the Pie at Impose

If you followed our Best Cassettes of 2014 list late last year, you might remember reading about a Bay Area indie-pop band called Crabapple and their incredible tape,Is It You? The drummer of Crabapple, Bean Tupou, also writes songs under the moniker Try the Pie. The project was formerly an intimate, sweet-sung solo endeavor, but for the band’s next full-length, Domestication, the band is filled out by Rich Gutierrez (of Sourpatch, Younger Lovers, Busted Outlook, Permanent Ruin) and Nick Lopez (of Ugly Winner). Last week the band unveiled one track from the record, “Thomas” and now have posted a video for “Inevitables” as well. Watch it above. Domestication is out this spring on Salinas.