“Our hostess starts out perfect, but gradually begins to unravel as the song progresses,” says Survival Guide, a.k.a. Emily “Agent M” Whitehurst (former vocalist for punk standouts Tsunami Bomb) about the deranged ‘Stepford Wives’ treatment for her video for ‘Pie,’ the third single off her fourth full-length electropop Survival Guide album ‘Deathdreams,’ out October 19 via Double Helix Records. The vivid metaphor in the lyrics as a protector (“Let me bubblewrap you / Hide you from his eyes”) begins to reveal itself as she dreads younger women having to endure some of the darker things she’s been through.
The song’s origin as a “basic demo” with just a “weird clicky drumbeat, a few bass synths, and the vocals” was fleshed out at Mesa, AZ’s Flying Blanket Recording Studio with producer Bob Hoag (Dear and the Headlights, The Ataris, The Format) who added in some various layers in production to make the song shine. “Bob really filled it in with harps, violins, mellotron flutes and so much more, and turned it into this unique song,” she says. “Also, I really love desserts and baking, so I’m excited that I figured out how to make pie such a focus in one of my songs.”
“Some of the instrumentation on ‘Pie’ gave it a hint of a 1950s sound, which inspired video director Bryan Heiden and the team at The Motivated Mind Group to create the look and feel of the music video,” she adds on the video’s treatment. “Even though the song isn’t literally about pie,” she laughs, “we all wanted to use the imagery of it, so we filmed a cooking show set in the ‘50s. I loved getting to attempt all the different emotions that went into this character. And since I enjoy baking so much, it was super fun to do an exaggerated version of a baking show for the video. It even comes with a few commercial breaks!”
The deviant ‘Pie’ video follows in tune with the previous action-packed videos: ‘Lady Neptune’ which follows a narrative-driven ‘rise and fall’ type story that features a plot of a character who wants something more out of life, but ends up choosing organized crime, and the macabre and blood-splattered short film-esque music video for ‘Blood Perfume,’ which stars Em as a deranged serial killer who outsmarts her victims.