Record #457: Knola – The Black Beach (2015)

the black beach

Lemme tell you about my friend Jack.

We first met when I moved back to my hometown from Chicago. There wasn’t much of a music scene to speak of, but a few of us saw the potential for a thriving arts community. There were plenty of artists around, but there was very little support for them.

One of those groups was the short-lived Merchant Ships, a post-hardcore act helmed by Jack that somehow managed to gain a huge following on MySpace. The group had already dissolved by the time I met him.

He was still in high school.

Over the years, he has proven to be one of the most singularly talented and prolific songwriters I know. His current project Boy Rex oscillates rapidly between touring and recording. He’s already released one record since last summer’s Better Vision and is already working on the next.

In between Merchant Ships and Boy Rex, he moved to the Pacific Northwest, where he played in a variety of projects. Knola is one such project: a jangling emo outfit that fits somewhere between Real Estate and Death Cab For Cutie.

The Black Beach, the only release during their short lifespan, is a five-track EP filled with emotional pop songs. And while it may lack the urgency of Merchant Ships or the earnestness of Boy Rex, it’s still a great part of the Jack Senff canon.

Also, Knola once played a house show at my place. They were the fifth band on. Jack got tired and stopped the show after two songs. He is still teased about it.

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