Ramona Falls is named after a childhood memory of Brent Knopf. As a boy, he and his family would drive out to the trail on Mount Hood and hike the three-mile loop. Knopf drank it in: the proportions of space; sunlight and shade; the potential of this place, as a refuge from the world, as a place solely his, even as his family gathered there. An ideal of what woods should be. Years later, that memory remains with him, now represented in music: Ramona Falls, both a refuge from the world and a gathering place within it. A sanctuary as Menomena, the sharply intelligent indie rock band from Portland in which Knopf honed his craft, eased into a period of rest; and a community, as Knopf emailed and called fellow musicians in Portland and New York and asked them to collaborate with him on his so-called solo album (including members of The Helio Sequence, Mirah, Loch Lomond, 31 Knots, Talkdemonic, Nice Nice, Tracker, Dat'r, Dear Reader, 3 Leg Torso, and Matt Sheehy). Those joinings give the album breadth, rendering the solo tag something of a misnomer. But then, much of this album represents several things at once: solitude and gathering, community and refuge, the ideal and the real. Fixing a memory into the world.
Knopf grew up halfway between Mount Hood and Portland Oregon, far enough out of the city so that he could see the stars clearly at night. He later spent time in France, attended college in New Hampshire, and spent a semester abroad in Germany. He returned to Portland after graduating college to form Menomena. These days, Knopf has a cat, a raging chocolate addiction, and a determination to plant a vegetable garden even though it will likely ripen while he's away on tour.
Ramona Falls is Brent Knopf's first solo venture, but he has an extensive musical resume as part of trio Menomena (that's snagged plaudits from such tastemakers as Pitchfork Media and the New York Times.). "Intuit" is a beautiful and breathtaking glimpse into a profound journey of love, loss, exploration of life and one's self. From the very beginning, you find yourself spellbound and longing to continue down the 11-track pilgrimage. From the internal struggle to follow one's heart in the song “I Say Fever”, to the drowning dream and betrayal imagery of “Salt Sack,” to the bittersweet and delicate album finale of "Diamond Shovel," Ramona Falls blends acoustic and electronic elements into songs that feel at once surreal and real, both strange and familiar.