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 Listen to ‘Seahorse’ and hear a story of immobilization and the struggle to stay afloat, simultaneously wistful and withdrawn, youthful and yearning.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.”