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Music / Radical Face

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Peel the scars from off my back
I don't need them anymore
You can throw them out
keep them in your mason jars
I've come home
— Radical Face, Welcome Home

Radical Face is a one-man band consisting of Ben Cooper. The band has an Indie Folk sound with a heavy focus on unique imagery and surreal instrumentation.

The first album, Ghost, was released in 2007. The next full album The Roots was released in 2011, and was announced as the first part in a trilogy, called The Family Tree, which will follow a fictional family called The Northcotes throughout its generations. The second part of the trilogy, The Branches, was released in late 2013. The third album is set to release in March, 2016. Alongside the Family Tree albums, a corresponding series of EPs called "The Bastards" were released for free by the artist. An album "The Bastards" was released late 2015, containing the EP songs and a few new ones, and a single from the upcoming "The Leaves" album was released January 2016.

Radical Face contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Several references, notably in "Family Portait".
  • All There in the Manual: The Radical Face website features a map with lots of information about the Family Tree series, including names for many characters and the songs' connections.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: In the music video for "The Mute," the titular Mute. Besides the obvious, they also display odd habits, and it's clear their mother struggles to understand them. The song was also allegedly based off of Ben Cooper's cousin with autism.
  • Ambiguous Gender: The music video for "The Mute" doesn't specify what gender, if any, the titular mute is supposed to be. The story is narrated through the song, with a male vocalist, but the child playing the mute in the video is female, though it's hard to tell while watching since her costume covers her face.
  • Concept Album: Ghost is based on the concept of houses retaining memories and people leaving "ghosts" behind when they move away.
  • Cute Mute: "The Mute" in the music video is rather endearing and lovable, as well as a mega-Woobie.
  • Parental Neglect: The narrator of the song "The Mute" suffers from this. The song ends with the titular mute running away from home so their parents can be happy without them.
    • The music video makes it seem a bit more complicated; while the father visibly ignores the child, the mother's visibly distraught when they're gone.
  • Promotion to Parent: The speaker's older sister in "Family Portrait".
    Sister learned to be a mother
    before she'd ever played another part
  • Shown Their Work: The Family Tree albums only utilize instruments available during the time period they take place in.