Music

Studio Session: Ramona Falls

OPB | May 27, 2012 9 a.m. | Updated: July 26, 2012 9:16 a.m.

The last time Brent Knopf was in our studio it was in September 2010 as a part of Menomena, the dynamic three-headed musical monster with whom he would ultimately part ways a few months later.

The year previous to that Knopf had released the debut from his solo project Ramona Falls, Intuit, which found him collaborating with a large cast of Portland musical friends, including members of Loch Lomond, Talkdemonic and The Helio Sequence, among others. The result was a solid if sometimes uneven first step, but still a step that suggested that Ramona Falls could well be more than a side project.

Prophet, the new release out recently on Barsuk, finds the cast pared back considerably with Knopf assembling a working, touring band that also plays on the recording with Paul Alcott, Dave Lowensohn and Matt Sheehy (who’s since made way for Brandon Laws). That context, not to mention the fact that Ramona Falls now has the distinction of being Knopf’s main focus, seems to have made a lot of difference. Prophet is a more focused and assured collection, buoyed by Knopf’s attempt to write from a more positive perspective, and by some surprisingly heavy moments of guitar strum and drang. (Knopf points out his love of metal as being the probable source.)

Ramona Falls joined us ahead of a string of U.S. tour dates next month for a set of new songs.

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