Indie Pop-Folk Artist Radical Face Releases Sophomore Album 'The Family Tree: The Roots'
Hailing from Jacksonville, FL, indie pop-folk artist Radical Face--aka Ben Cooper--returns with his sophomore album The Family Tree: The Roots, out now on Bear Machine. Hauntingly beautiful, Radical Face’s new album glimmers with folk, pop and Ben’s wide-open vocals.
Radical Faces’s new song “Ghost Towns” is the iTunes Indie Spotlight feature all week long. The Family Tree: The Roots is now on iTunes home page twice and is currently #96 in the overall iTunes charts, #3 on Amazon MP3 Folk chart and #30 on the pop charts.
Download the full song for free on iTunes HERE.
(Keep reading for more information on Radical Face.)
Radical Face--who has generally shied away from traditional live performances--will give U.S. fans a rare concert experience with a unique live show encompassing a full backing choir accompanying him on his fall trek, which launches this week. Today, (Wednesday, October 5) Radical Face will perform live in-studio at KALX, 3:00 PM PST (Univ. of California-Berkeley) to preview his Thursday, October 6 show in San Francisco at Brick and Mortar with the Albatross Choir. On Monday, October 10 he’ll make a special appearance for an in-store performance and signing at Origami Vinyl at 7:00pm (1816 West Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA) and a live appearance on Moheak Radio at 4:00pm (Moheak.com). On Tuesday, October 11, Radical Face will tape an appearance for NBC TV’s “Last Call With Carson Daly” at his Los Angeles show at the Bootleg Theater with the Easterly Singers Choir. Later in the week on Friday, October 14, RADICAL FACE will perform and be interviewed live on Los Angeles tastemaker station KXLU (Loyola Marymount University). To listen live, go here: http://www.live365.com/index.live. Next spring, Radical Face will head overseas for his first European trek visiting six countries.
After four years of honing the album concept, which depicts the life and tribulations of a family from the 1800’s, Ben recorded The Family Tree: The Roots alone in a tool shed and limited the songwriting to instruments that would have been accessible in the 1800’s. Incorporating piano, acoustic guitar, a floor tom, and voices, he only brought in additional instruments of the era during tracking when needed. From soaring tracks like “A Pound of Flesh” and “Severus and Stone,” to eerily dark pieces like “Black Eyes” and “Kin,” to warm, enlightening gems like “Always Gold” and “Mountains,” the songs flow together with mindful artistic clarity, allowing the listener to fully escape into the album as the stories unravel, see early critical soundbites for …THE ROOTS below.
Check out what critics are saying about RADICAL FACE:
NPR Austin: “If a music career doesn’t work out for Ben Cooper, work as a novelist or a screenwriter might. Under the moniker of Radical Face, Florida’s Cooper has already mapped out a trilogy of albums, the first of which, Family Tree: Roots, comes out October 4. The trilogy explores the life of a fictional family living in the 19th century, and to capture the right atmosphere, Cooper recorded the album in a tool shed only using instruments that would have been around during that time period. Despite the archaic nature, Roots works well in the present day. The songs are lyrically heavy, dealing with life, death, murder, love, and everything in between. Cooper makes it all fit together with melodies that straddle the line between pop and folk. It’s those blurred boundaries between old and new that make Radical Face worth listening to. The album’s first single, “A Pound of Flesh,” is a dark cut that nevertheless bounces along on a bed of acoustic guitars and Cooper’s intimate voice. The lyrics are characteristically descriptive, but it’s the song’s wordless chorus that’s truly the highpoint.” --Art Levy, September 29, 2011
Mix: “It’s an interesting concept: In addition to sculpting the lyrics around a family in the 1800s, indie pop-folk artist Ben Cooper (aka, Radical Face) also only used instruments that would have been found in that time period (piano, acoustic guitar, floor tom, voices). Granted, the recording is obviously not of the 19th-century ilk, but the simple, clean and straight-ahead mix only adds to that ‘good-old days’ vibe. Cloaking himself in this down-home methodology, Cooper camped out in the tool shed behind his mother’s house in Jacksonville, Fla., for 15 months, writing, recording and tweaking, all by his lonesome. While the assorted hand-claps, tinkling of the ivories and strums from the guitar create a lush landscape, front and center is Cooper’s vocals, sweet and pure on ‘Black Eyes,’ soaring on ‘Severus and Stone’ and hauntingly beautiful ‘Ghost Towns.’ The Roots is the first in a three-piece installment that focuses on the ‘Family Tree’ theme. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next two!” --Sarah Benzuly, October 2011
Hits Magazine: “With storytelling at the core of this beautifully crafted and sonically haunting collection, this record has all the makings of an indie classic, in the best way. Think Band Of Horses meets The Shins circa Garden State, with the depth and imagination of a talented raconteur.” --September, 2011
BuzzBands.LA: “As one-half of the Morr Music duo Electric President, Ben Cooper traded in the kind of electro-pop melancholy that made the spines of Postal Service fans tingle. But his diet is more organic when he works alone as Radical Face, whose rapturous folk music is as stirring as it is conceptual. His 2007 album Ghost was based on the idea that houses are inhabited by the events that have taken place in them, and the songs on his forthcoming second record “The Family Tree: the Roots” (out Oct. 4 on his own Bear Machine Records) — recorded in a toolshed behind his mother’s house in Jacksonville, Fla.--revolve around a strange, fictitious family from the 1800s. Guitar, piano, simple percussion--and ideas…” --Kevin Bronson, 8/5/11
Hopeless Thunder: “Its depth and emotional delivery make it an album you want to put on repeat.” --Nancy Hoang, 8/5/11
Knox Road: “With both buzzy feedback in ‘All is Well (It’s Only Blood)’ and simple, un-experimental, folky harmonies in the final track, ‘We’re on Our Way’, Cooper illustrates his evolution as a musician and grasp on quite a few genres as well. A surprising and exciting change, in fact, as it is one of the first times a more folk-inspired, almost back-country Cooper has peeked from behind a curtain of distortion. Awesome.” --Abby Ross, September 2011
RADICAL FACE Assets:
Q&A & “Pound of Flesh” video on American Songwriter: http://www.americansongwriter.com/2011/09/video-premiere-radical-face-po...
Wed, 10/5 Berkeley, CA @ KALX (UC Berkeley radio show, 3pm)
Thu, 10/6 San Francisco, CA @ Brick and Mortar Music Hall (full show w/Albatross Choir)
Mon, 10/10 Los Angeles, CA @ Moheak Radio (4pm, Live Interview)
Mon, 10/10 Los Angeles, CA @ Origami Vinyl (in store performance)
Mon, 10/10 Los Angeles, CA @ BronsonIsland.com Radio (9pm radio appearance)
Tue, 10/11 Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater (w/Easterly Singers)
Fri, 10/14 Los Angeles, CA @ KXLU Radio (in studio performance)
Sat, 10/22 Arlington, VA @ Rock Spring Church (w/Yorktown Vocal Ensemble)
Tue, 10/25 New York, NY @ Webster Hall Studio (w/Cloud Family Singers)
Danielle Romeo | email@example.com