Well...Welcome Home was the first song I ever heard by him. It was playing on Pandora one day and I missed the artist's name so I was trying to find it with the few things I remembered of the song at the time. Once I found it again I found it on Youtube and just kept replaying it. From there I checked out other songs and did the same with them, then found interest in how the songs connect and what the stories were. Eventually I checked out Electric President and some other projects he did (like Junkyard Chandelier). So I'd say Welcome Home had a pretty big impact as it helped me discover one of my favorite artists.
Yeah I heard the song through the Pandora route as well. Usually when I listen to music I seldom pay attention to the words.The first time around i focus on just the instrumental then go back and hear it again. The first song I heard was welcome home, I remember I liked it but went on my way not looking into it. The song however would keep popping up on my Pandora till it somehow bore itself into my subconscious. Fast forward to months later when I went to my sister's house to see my nephew, I was hanging out with him playing with him and his dinosaurs when that Nikon commercial came up and I heard the song in the background. So off I went to YouTube and so began my obsession with this band. I like most songs for different reasons some I like the instrumental arrangements and how the sound of each instrument stands out but also flows so well together the road to nowhere, the deserter's song, and from the mouth of an injured head come to mind. Others I enjoy cause of their stories rivers of dust, mountains, black eyes, sisters and old Gemini are some of my favorites story wise. Then there are the ones that I connect personally for reasons I'd rather keep to myself. The thing I love about this band is that everyone can relate to at least one song of theirs if not more. Radical face songs have helped me relate to and enjoy great music and if nothing else have kept me entertained for all the lonley hours that I spend with their songs playing in my headphones.
i always felt an emotional connection to some radical face songs--Chains in particular comes to mind--as a gay, gender non-conforming person. feeling misunderstood, having a secret that's dangerous to tell, deep sadness from long forgotten histories...radical face always spoke to this part of myself. i remember being really excited when i learned Ben was gay too and that Servants and Kings and The Ship in Port were explicitly about a gay man. Aside from that, my good friend introduced me to radical face and it's something that's kept us together over the years. I'm really grateful they did.
It's so lovely to hear all these connections to Ben's music! I've never met a real-life Radical Face fan, other than the girl who first showed him to me! It was 6 years ago, on a summer night just before I was due to get on a plane back to my home country for the holidays. I heard Welcome Home and Wrapped In Piano Strings, and it felt like the sound I had been missing, or searching for without realising it. I vividly remember listening to Welcome Home the next day as I was walking under a starry sky in the valley on the way to see my friends in the village, singing along. My friend went on to make me my own mixtape of songs from Ghost and The Roots, which I put on my iPod and listened to on walks and while I was drawing. Some of the tunes on there were a little sad, like Black Eyes, Ghost Towns, A Little Hell, Severus & Stone.. But that suited me, because I was a bit depressed and not having a good time at school that winter. But there were other more touching ones, such as Always Gold, that I shared with my best friends and we always associated it with one another. The next Summer two of my friends and I camped out at Glastonbury Tor, and listened to We're On Our Way on repeat. That winter I went to see him playing live in Bristol, and I thought it was the best gig I had ever seen. Josh fell off his chair during Ghost Towns which sent everyone off giggling (including Ben) and the sing along for Welcome Home was unbelievable. Me and my friend snuck back in afterwards and actually got to meet Ben and give him a hug! We were pretty damn starstruck. When I moved back to Portugal the next year I really got into the Branches, and Summer Skeletons always vividly reminds me of cycling around the dirt-tracks on a sweltering day. I love the subtle things like the viola de gamba in the Crooked Kind, and the accapella breakdown in From the Mouth of an Injured Head. Shortly after that I had a psychosis during which time Radical Face was a great comfort to me. I even hallucinated one time that he was in my kitchen, and we had a great conversation; he seemed to be a reassuring presence. The year after that I suffered a bit of a relapse and remember listening to Second Family Portrait from the Bastards album and just breaking down, as it felt kinda relatable. Servants and Kings gave me hope, and Small Hands was like a lullaby. Shortly afterwards I moved countries again, and felt a very strong attachment to Everything Costs- something when the chorus dropped made me feel very nostalgic about a friend I had lost. When I moved house, my phone was broken and my iPod wouldn't charge so I had a big break from Radical Face. When I dipped back into it a while later I discovered I See Roads, which was suited to the happier time of life. Nowadays I listen to Ben on rare occasions, as they have such an emotive quality it can often shift my mood for the rest of the day. But I still have massive respect and love for the guy and the music, and can't wait for him to tour the uk again! Peace x
meganwarren, that's such a touching story!! Thank you for sharing!
Like probably most of Ben's fans, Welcome Home introduced me to Radical Face. There's too many songs I love to have a favorite but the one means the most to me is The Mute. My son Michael is eleven now but since he was a toddler I just always new he was different than the other kids. When I first heard The Mute it really touched me and I always called it 'Michael's song to my wife. Michael has always been highly intellectual for his age but always lacked in the social and common sense department. Opposite of the character in The Mute, Michael's vocabulary has always been advanced for his age but similar to The Mute, he had trouble expressing himself . I cried the first time I heard the line "If you only listen with your ears I can't get in". Sometimes Michael can be frustrating at times to people around him, myself included, but I always think of this line in my head and it just breaks my heart and it reminds me to look at things from HIS point point of view. My wife and I always had a feeling Michael may have Asperger's. When he was six we took him to a speci alist to get tested. The interviewer spent 15 minutes with him and didn't even further test him and just told us there was NO way he has Asperger's because of his empathy, compassion, and how he had back and forth conversation with him. We accepted it and moved on. Fast forward five years and because of some anecdotes from other people we knew, we had him tested again just to rule it out for good. Three weeks ago we got the results and he did indeed have Asperger's (it's now called Autism spectrum disorder level 1 highly functional now). My heart just sank they uttered the words. Yes he has some Asperger's tendencies but he has so much empathy and compassion which is totally opposite of the classic signs that we though there was no way. I didn't know what to feel at first but then but after thinking about it, I actually find comfort in it. It explains a lot about him. We don't look at him any different than the same old Michael we love so much and we explained that to him. He was angry and crying at first because for the past couple of years he started thinking he was different and that his peers just don't understand him. He just wanted to be normal and this was confirmation that he isn't. His initial reaction just broke our hearts. But like Michael always does, he slept on it and the next day it was like oh well, it is what it is. It's almost as he now knows who he really is and he just wants to actually use his new 'label' to prove to the world how awesome he is. So there you go. This is how The Mute has affected. I just read somewhere that the song was written about Ben's nephew who has autism. Now it makes sense why this song always reminds me of my son.
I remember one night I was getting a bit anxious so I went into a dark room, got some headphones, closed my eyes, and played Let The River In over and over until the feeling left me (or, at least until I felt ok enough). It was a comforting moment. It was like I needed that song. Ben's music has been a comfort to me in general when I'm feeling a bit off.
God, there are so many, but the ones that come to mind first are Second Family portrait and Lullaby. I've dealt with hallucinations since I was 15 (17 now) and pretty gnarly mental illness problems since I was even younger. It was the first song I'd really heard that echoed my experiences and even more, echoed them sympathetically. As a scared 15 year old high school dropout coming to terms with the fact I'd most likely have these problems for life, it was extremely comforting and it made me feel less alone. Ditto The Crooked Kind and Kin. Listening to those songs made me feel a bit better about myself, hearing hallucinations described as a cool fantastical gift instead of something gross and weird that made me gross and weird. As for Lullaby, it's my go to calm down song. Even though the lyrics are kind of dark and definitely echo a warped reality, the melody is calming. I guess for me it symbolizes acceptance. Like, yes, the lyrics are kind of sad and chaotic bu t the song is soothing, so even if I'm sad and chaotic, I can be calm. And in the end it resolves on a more hopeful note. Maybe that's why it works so well. Idk. Anyways, I'm really grateful.