:: I can only listen to the preview, but I’m loving the record already!
Nearly two years ago, Ben Cooper released the first part of his stand-alone The Family Tree album trilogy under his Radical Face moniker. The Jacksonville-based singer/songwriter tells the story of the fictional 19th century Northcotes family through its generations. The first installment The Family Tree Presents The Roots – dedicated to the first two Northcotes generations in the first half of the 1800’s – possibly is my overall favourite 2011 record, and so I’m more than happy that the story is continued now.
The second installment to Radical Face’s concept trilogy is entitled The Family Tree Presents The Branches. It was officially released in North America on October 22, 2013 via Bear Machine Records. UK/European release follows on November 04 via Nettwerk Music Group. In North America, the album is streaming in its entirety at Paste Magazine. If you’re living in Europe, you have to content yourself with the album preview till The Branches is officially released. The set of twelve tracks is released as digital download, CD and 12″ vinyl LP. Buy digitally via iTunes or order your physical copy [worldwide] here.
The Family Tree Presents The Branches covers the Northcotes history in the half-century from 1860 to 1910. Certain instrumentations and melodies that represented a “family member” on the first album reappear on the second part as continuation of a story or descendent. The Branches also progresses in its ways of production by using instruments that would have been more readily available in the era of the story told. Ben Cooper is an accomplished storyteller since he wrote fiction before turning to music. In a press release, he explains: “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.”
The release of the record was once again preceded by a three-track Bastards EP that accompanies the LP. Entitled The Bastards – Volume Two EP, it features songs that did not fit on the full-length but nevertheless are part of the Family Tree project. As with the first EP rendition, the second one is included as download in all physical album orders, but it can also be downloaded for free in return for your email here.
Listen above to the fabulous first album single Holy Branches. The track is available for free download via the Nettwerk Music Group Soundcloud. Radical is concluding his 2013 US tour with his gig in Los Angeles today. He’ll head over to Europe for twelve shows in November, check out the touring schedule below.
Tracklist [The Family Tree Presents The Branches]:
01. Gray Skies
02. Holy Branches
03. The Mute
05. Summer Skeletons
06. The Crooked Kind
08. Letter Home
09. From The Mouth of An Injured Head
10. Southern Snow
11. The Gilded Hand
12. We All Go The Same
Tracklist [The Bastards – Volume Two EP]:
01. Second Family Portrait
03. Letters Home (Aftermath)
Upcoming Tour Dates:
Thu 24 Oct 2013 // Los Angeles, CA, USA // Masonic Lodge, Hollywood Forever
Sat 09 Nov 2013 // Bristol, UK // Colston Hall 2
Sun 10 Nov 2013 // Manchester, UK // The Deaf Institute
Tue 12 Nov 2013 // London, UK // Union Chapel
Wed 13 Nov 2013 // Paris, France // Point Ephemere
Fri 15 Nov 2013 // Enschede, Netherlands // Crossing Border Festival
>> The full touring schedule is available here.
Under The Gun Review − Radical Face – ‘The Family Tree: The Branches’
More ‘Radical Face’ on Music Pickings:
2012, Nov 16 − We’re On Our Way / New EP ‘Always Gold’ (2012/11/13)
2011, Nov 29 − Ghost Towns / New Album ‘The Family Tree Presents The Roots’