PREMIERE: Climb the Family Tree with Radical Face on “Secrets (Cellar Door)”

The Family Tree: The Leaves, Ben Cooper’s third installment in a novel-inspired musical saga, is out March 25 on Nettwerk.

As was evident last year on Sufjan Stevens’ Carrie & Lowell, sometimes the most subtle and delicate music can have the strongest and most lasting emotional effect. Ben Cooper plays toward the same understated goals, making carefully arranged, lyrically dense baroque folk under the name Radical Face. In the spirit of John Steinbeck and Gabriel García Márquez, Cooper has embarked on a massive, extended project known as The Family Tree, which tells the intertwined and intergenerational story of a family.

So far, Cooper has completed The Roots and The Branches, and is forthcoming with The Leaves. As Radical Face has moved along The Family Tree from the ground up, each project has gotten more and more complex—seemingly to match the increasing chaos of modern times, and the weight that a family’s backstory can have. “It’s my life, but I wrap it in fiction,” he says of the undertaking. “I’ve always been guilty of using music as a therapy. Because with music, you can take something ugly or hard and can turn it into something pretty. You can force it to become something that it never intended. Even with the saddest things, you can make them beautiful.”

A few weeks ago, Cooper debuted music from The Leaves with “The Road to Nowhere,” and now we’re happy to premiere “Secrets (Cellar Door),” a multi-phase epic that swirls with wild imagery and gentle melodies. Listen to that song, and take a look at the album info, below.

The Family Tree: The Leaves tracklisting

Print1. Secrets (Cellar Door)
2. Rivers in the Dust
3. Everything Costs
4. Midnight
5. The Ship in Port
6. Photograph
7. Third Family Portrait
8. The Road to Nowhere
9. Old Gemini
10. Bad Blood


The Family Tree: The Leaves is out March 25 on Nettwerk.


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