"Don’t you Fear for Me, I am where I’m supposed to be" – Radical Face
After four years milling over the concept and fifteen months recording alone in the tool shed behind his mother’s house in Jacksonville Florida, Ben Cooper, AKA Radical Face, released his sophomore album "The Family Tree: The Roots." It’s the follow-up to his 2007 debut indie triumph "Ghost," and the first installment of what will eventually be three stand alone records all tied to the theme of a Family Tree – once again separating himself from all things traditional.
Hauntingly beautiful, "The Family Tree: The Roots" has all the makings of an indie classic. Don’t be fooled by Ben’s understated voice and the simple beginnings. Each song builds in layers much like the depth of its characters. From soaring tracks like ‘A Pound of Flesh’ and ‘Severus and Stone,’ 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 you to fully escape into the album as the stories unravel.
Based on a fictitious, sometimes otherworldly family in the 1800s, Ben limited the songwriting to instruments that would have been accessible in that era – piano, acoustic guitar, a floor tom, and voices – only bringing in additional instruments during tracking when needed. "I like storytelling, and wanted that to be the focus. I looked up genealogy charts and studied some American history for a frame of reference, then pulled from personal experiences and put it all together."
Such concepts and stories come naturally to Ben, whom before turning to music wrote fiction. He switched to music after a hard drive crash where he lost his two nearly completed novels. Three albums dissecting a family and its descendants from the 19th and 20th centuries might seem outlandish to most, but for an artist whose history involves giving away compete records exclusively in exchange for mailing him "anything but money," we can expect no less.
One half of the band Electric President and with side projects like Clone, Mothers Basement and Patients, chances are you’re already familiar with Ben’s music. The Radical Face track ‘Welcome Home’ has garnered over 5 million Youtube views. It appeared as the soundtrack for the I AM NIKON campaign
and in such movies as Humboldt County, The Vicious Kind and the Reel Rock Documentary. Further Radical Face television support has come from shows like Private Practice, Skins, Eddie Izzard and Weeds, as well as support from Current TV who nationally aired a documentary piece on Radical Face in 2008. Most recently Ben has also lent his music to support the "It Gets Better" Google Chrome Campaign and the "Ride 4 Water" charity raising funds for clean drinking water in Africa.