128 Northeast Russell Street
Portland, OR, 97212
Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:30 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
"Hello, Hope, it's been a while," go the opening lines of "Dead Ends", the centerpiece of Ben
Cooper's latest EP as Radical Face. Over the eight years he put into the three-part The Family
Tree series -- The Roots (2011), The Branches (2013), and The Leaves (2016) -- he'd grasped
onto ideas and perceptions that left him hopelessly drained, creatively and emotionally.
Speaking with a professional finally enabled him to let go, something he's honored by naming
his new effort Therapy .
With The Family Tree , Cooper sought to confront his difficult upbringing in Florida by forming a
fictional genealogy paired with stirring folk arrangements. Intense family drama near the end of
the process pushed The Leaves to take on a far more personal tone, as Cooper felt
"dishonest… putting it into a separate avatar." That only made the songs increasingly more
difficult to perform, however, which coupled with the artistic exhaustion of pairing music with his
grand concept made him pine for palliation.
In an attempt to test himself and move on from the compositional confines of that trilogy, Cooper
undertook a number of different projects. There was his Missing Film instrumental album, a
score he released for filmmakers to use for free, and his Covers, Vol. 1 EP, in which he only
sang songs by female artists. Adding to the challenge was his relocation to California; moving
away from his studio in Florida forced him to relearn how to record in an apartment with minimal
But Cooper as says, " If you wait for ideal conditions, you'll never get anything done ." Singing
the songs of Lana Del Rey and Cyndi Lauper reconnected him to traditional structures, while
watching the Boom Boom Room performances on Twin Peaks: The Return and revisiting
Talking Heads inspired him to seek richer, vaster orchestrations. His desire to leave the acoustic
leanings of his past works behind and return to verse-chorus framework became the drive for
the sonic shifts on Therapy .