A long, long time ago, in the fateful year of 2007, I was beginning to develop my affinity for the world indie music and get my chops (it might have been 2006). Radical Face, aka the talented Benjamin Cooper, was introduced to me by a Floridian in an AIM chat room, along with another project of his – Electric President. I was coming out of a death metal phase, as I was immensely dissatisfied with the world of the contemporary top 40 my Christian private school ate without question. I finally found music I actually liked and Radical Face, and Electric President, were among a few acts who pushed me off the cliff and in to the vast, wide sea of independent music. For fun, I just looked up this album’s Pitchfork score and guess what? They panned it, of course!
Radical Face has slowly, but steadily, developed a cult following starting from his home of Jacksonville, Florida and┬áGhost is just a fantastic combination of pop and folk sensibilities – if you’re here, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with the brilliance that is Ghost. Cooper’s vocal delivery also comes off as earnest and affable with each song on the album being attractive in its own way. Check out the album below via the Spotify player if you haven’t already listened to it and see what you think of it. Cheers!
This record started with a simple idea: What if houses had memories? What if, when we lived in them, our stories bled into the walls and became a part of the house? What if our ghosts were always going to haunt the places we've lived, along with everyone else who's lived there? So some songs are from the point of view people still living their lives in one of these houses; some are from the point of view of those dead and gone, watching over the living or haunting them; some are from people visiting home, after being away for along time, and the familiar ghosts of childhood all coming back to remind you of the way things used to be.
All of the songs are short stories; even if again and again the narrator's voice is transmitted to the instruments, the piano, the guitars, an accordion. And in comparison to the very song-orientated debut by Electric President - 24-year-old Ben Cooper's alter ego (Radical Face) and second musical affair of the heart, Ghost, has become a songwriter-album. Or rather a song-writing album, the tracks as carefully arranged interiors, chamber folk, pocket symphonies, passionate melodies.
Ben Cooper recorded this album almost entirely alone. In a small shed in Jacksonville Beach/Florida. His recording studio. Another one of these houses full of stories. He recorded the guitars and drum-patterns, the banjos, organs and keyboards and sang in chorus with himself. He let the instruments take a deep breath and created a breathing record, a lively, warm Ghost.
"Welcome home, son" is an epic miniature, a radio play to some extent. Banjo, glockenspiel, children's voices, a toy drum maybe. "Wrapped in piano strings" begins with a soft and light guitar, a murmur is blown over and rises to a hymnal crest: "I saw your father in the hall; his ghost is living in the wall". "Homesick" finally is an almost melancholic farewell, Cooper's guitar, his direct, flattering voice, reduced and condensed.
Listen on Spotify
- Maybe Buy
- Not My Style
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