Artist: Ramona Falls
Location: Portland, OR
Stray sounds off in the distance. Gentle guitar. Atmospheric piano that seems to float in the air and then cut through everything. A building narrative that sounds so impassioned you can’t help but be carried away as the guitar strums and then tickles your eardrums.
The cover art for Ramona Falls’ Intuit immediately reminds me of Maurice Sendak’s illustrations in “Where The Wild Things Are,” perhaps because I just recently watched Spike Jonze’s dark and magical reinterpretation of the children’s classic.
Like the book and the movie so many years later, Ramona Falls’ music has this building intensity that populates each song, sometimes staying hidden in the background amidst beautiful instrumentation and wonderful vocals. But it always seems to burst forth at some point, for a “Wild Rumpus” moment, if you will.
Ramona Falls is the side project of Menomena’s Brent Knopf. I remember sifting through a stack of CDs as a member of a review committee for the college radio station at Wittenberg University and finding I Am The Fun Blame Monster with it’s childlike drawing on the cover and thinking I had to take a listen. I was drawn in by the band’s unique mashup of rhythm, clipped sounds and gift for atmospherics. Knopf is at his best when the dramatic elements are at play on Intuit. And honestly, he’s not short of his best at any point. Fans of Menomena will obviously see the similarities here, but Ramona Falls — also a breathtaking natural attraction in Oregon — manages to carve out a really unique sound, and that’s saying something.
This album is just beautiful and fantastic. Oh yeah, and the lyrics are pretty great, too. And I guess I’m not the only one who thought of Sendak’s classic. Here are a few examples of what I’m trying, albeit confusingly, to explain. Man I love music.
“Melectric” -“as it flashed before my eyes / like rain crashing from skies / I am shaken by the sight / before I can find a pen / it is gone in the wind / broken string, runaway kite”
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