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Menomena’s Brent Knopf Returns: Hear Ramona Falls’ Jagged ‘Sqworm’

Ramona Falls / Jeni Stembridge

Just in time for Passover, Brent Knopf’s Ramona Falls has unveiled a fidgety, guitar-scraped piano-rocker that evokes the holiday’s Moses-era origins. “I put the lamb’s blood on my door,” the former Menomena member intones earnestly on “Sqworm,” from Prophet, due May 1 on Barsuk. The album is Ramona Falls’ second, but the first since Knopf left Menomena to focus on his new band, which notably includes new Menomena member Paul Alcott on drums.

The previous Prophet track to surface, “Spore,” was stately, universe-contemplating indie-pop that also served as a fanfare for Knopf’s leap into the great post-Menomena unknown: “Ready or not, here I come,” Knopf sang. “Sqworm” takes on a darker edge, with jarring rhythms, abrasive guitars, and creepily low-pitched backing vocals. We quote Ferris Bueller: “When Brent Knopf was in Egypt land, let my Brent Knopf go!”