Video premiere: Radical Face, ‘The Road to Nowhere’

Radical Face
Radical Face

In March, musical novelist Radical Face — the nom de tune Ben Cooper — released the final of his ambitious album trilogy, “The Family Tree: The Leaves.” As compositional endeavors go, it’s “Roots” compared to most songwriters’ “Love Story.” The albums, including 2011’s “The Roots” and 2013’s “The Branches,” follow the history of the mythological family the Northcotes, who have strange, dark magic in their bloodline, and the characteristics of the principals are articulated in melodic patterns that recur throughout the albums. Cooper’s orchestrated folk noir and rapt lyricism make for the most compelling of “reads.”

Like many of his storylines, Radical Face’s new video for “The Road to Nowhere” focuses on one of the children from the bloodline. Past vignettes have captured a little girl who walks on water when she sleepwalks, a girl who can bring animals back from the dead and two brothers who have conversations with their dead relatives — kids that are abandoned by their families because of their oddities. (If the lyric video for “Secrets” [below] doesn’t give you chills, check your pulse.) These children end up working in a factory run by an exploitative man known as “The Gilded Hand” (from Part 2 of the trilogy), whose ulterior motive for employing the kids is to run tests on their blood. The boy in “The Road to Nowhere” possesses strange powers (like writing on walls) that only come to him in his sleep. And it is in his sleep that the boy finally does battle with The Gilded Hand.

This video is the first of a two-parter. Forthcoming is the sequel, “Everything Costs,” which will arrive as Radical Face embarks on a national tour that kicks off May 10 at the Teragram Ballroom.

||| Watch: “The Road to Nowhere”

||| Live: Radical Face performs May 10 at the Teragram Ballroom. Tickets.

||| Also: Watch the video for “Secrets”