You may be familiar with the band Menomena, I know I am. From the moment I heard their name I knew I’d found something fantastic. With unique instrumentals and often awkward melodies, they are totally weird and fantastic. When I found out lead singer/guitarist Brent Knopf was starting a new project, Ramona Falls (RF), while Menomena was on a bit of a hiatus a while back, I couldn’t get my hands on the new cd quick enough. While Knopf’s off-kilter melodies remained, the big band sound was replaced with a quieter, more beautiful flow. Heavier in electronics and keyboards he pulled me in with the lyrics.
With quite a bit of critical acclaim RF’s first release, Intuit, stood on its own apart from Knopf’s previously successful group. That, among other reasons, lead to Brent leaving Menomena officially as they embarked on a new album release of their own. Ramona Falls has continued to move forward as well with a release of their own on the first of this month dubbed Prophet.
I was, and will continue to be, in love with Intuit. ADD-indulgent songs like “Russia” and “I Say Fever” grab hold of my attention and refuse to let go for even a second. There’s so much going on at each turn of phrase you have to listen on repeat to even grasp all the instrumental and lyrical nuances. It’s fascinating and what has helped the entire album to remain in my top five favorites over the last few years. I’ve been taking my time waiting to write up a review for the new album, which will be coming up soon, so I can digest it. He’s definitely taken a turn away from the first release, it’s much less Menomena-esque, I would even say with Bowie-like tendencies. This one’s also got a bit of a bite to it not present in the first album, mostly due to the heavier use of electric guitar and bass. Where they were supporting players in the first, they’re front and center in songs like “Brevony” in this sophomore release.
RF has kicked off a tour in support of this new venture and headed to Seattle in a couple of days. They’ve set themselves up for a great show despite the smaller size of Sunset Tavern compared to their first Seattle appearance at Crocodile. The opener, Land of Pines, is one of my favorite finds (alongside The Lumineers and Craft Spells) at Capitol Hill Block Party last year. They’ve gotten surprisingly little press, but I see them as a slow creep… coming on the Seattle music scene and sticking around for the long haul.
Ramona Falls w/ Land of Pines
Thursday May 17th
Doors 8pm :: Show 9pm
tix: $12, 21+