Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Radical Face - The Family Tree: The Roots (2011)

1 Names 1:15
2 A Pound of Flesh 3:34
3 Family Portrait 4:40
4 Black Eyes 4:44
5 Severus and Stone 4:28
6 The Moon Is Down 3:18
7 Ghost Towns 3:53
8 Kin 4:04
9 The Dead Waltz 5:23
10 Always Gold 5:55
11 Mountains 4:51

Amazon.com link with samples

I've heard this a few times already, and it's pretty sublime. Drop date was on September 14th (although rateyourmusic has it as October 4th, same day as MuteMath, Bruce Peninsula and Feist, if that had been the case, in some ways, it would have been a bigger release date than September 13th to me).

I'm not going to go too in-depth, but as short as I have time for: this band have a good knack for using acoustic songwriting with piano, vocal harmonies and what not. At least on this record. This album is the 1st of a 3-part The Family Tree series of releases, the other two The Branches and The Relatives are expected in 2012.

Kind of forward-thinking in a way. I do know this group from a couple of years back, and they fall under the category of a band I checked out upon suggestion or stumble-upon, and liked, but sort of forgot about sadly. What I don't recall at this point was how different their last record Ghost, which I believe I previously had heard, differs from this.

More to the point, this album is almost purely acoustic (although that element of it, hardly fully describes it), and with a series titled "The Family Tree" and "The Roots" it suggests music of that approach.

So, in describing Radical Face, I suppose to call them sort of melodic, layered acoustic/chamber rock/pop/folk might be somewhat accurate. Of course hearing the music itself is best, but as a necessary evil, the artists I might compare them to being Punch Brothers, The Age of Rockets and even The River Empires, to name a few.

This album should be given more time from me, even with the heaping pile of 4th quarter records I need to still and will soon have to digest. But certainly this is one of those "coming out of nowhere" or "holy shit, I had no idea this was coming out" albums for 2011. In a lot of ways, the kind I prefer due to absolutely no expectations or anticipation. Its happened literally dozens of times to me over the last 5 years at least, and this is another example of when it happens, I often enjoy it more.

edit: in just reading a little more about it, Radical Face is actually one-man project I guess, from this musician from Florida named Ben Cooper. I suppose why on the homepage, the other bands he's played with are linked. I also find it interesting how Radical Face is playing live with Walking Sleep, a band who I like, although can't say my interest is what I hoped it might be. Perhaps Radical Face's music will inspire them and thus get me more interested in their music again.

Radical Face Homepage
Radical Face on Facebook

song "Welcome Home" from their last album Ghost