Up until now, Jack Senff was releasing music under the name Boy Rex, gaining a fervent following in the underground midwestern DIY community. Now, Senff is claiming his own name with the release of his first “proper” solo effort, Good To Know You.
Fittingly, the record is a collection of songs that deal with time — that unavoidable, ever-changing piece of the universe that we all struggle to grasp — and how it informs one’s identity. It was recorded across a number of bedrooms and living rooms, making for beautiful indie folk songs that have a particular sense of immediacy and intimacy.
“Old Days” is the first taste of Good To Know You, which still does not have a release date. However, to celebrate the new album, Senff sat down for another installment of our Indie Mixtape 20 Q&A to discuss Cole Sprouse, Death Cab For Cutie’s Transatlanticism, and hotel waffle bars.
What are four words you would use to describe your music?
Honest, reverent, wistful, contemporary.
Years from now, how do you hope people will remember your work?
I hope they recognize the effort and integrity of each release — how hard I tried to create something cohesive from start to finish, lyrically & sonically. I hope they find my songs ultimately human and worth something, anything.
What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?
I love playing in South Bend, Indiana, where I grew up, because I get to hang with my grandpa and see old friends. Seattle is great, too, LA, Montreal, Nashville — you know, these wonderful places to visit, but the shows aren’t always the best so I don’t know if it’s fair to give one of them the title of “favorite city in the world to perform.”
Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?
My wife has spent the better part of a decade showing me good music, putting me on the path and telling me it sounds better when I “sing in my soft voice.” There might be a dozen songwriters at any given moment vying for influence, but it’s probably Em who’s most inspired the work as a whole.
Where did you eat the best meal of your life?
Mildred’s in London, easy. A less pretentious pick, maybe, would be Sultan’s Market in Chicago, where I have been going for years and have never had a bad meal. Big shout to my baby brother, Eric. He knows what I’m talking about.
What album do you know every word to?
Motion City Soundtrack’s Commit This To Memory. [Laughs]
What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?
I saw James Taylor last year with my dad, that was great. Death Cab playing Transatlanticism for its ten year was pretty incredible, too.
What is the best outfit for performing and why?
I started tucking my shirts in a couple years ago and I think it makes me appear a bit more decent and proper. I know the tuck thing is “in” right now, but I genuinely believe it helps with my unfortunate football-player proportions. The “best outfit for performing” is just anything that’s halfway flattering and doesn’t make my legs look even bigger than they are.
Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?
I don’t follow too many high-profile people, but I like looking at Cole Sprouse now and again. Isn’t he beautiful and like, actually talented? Marc Maron is great too, he reminds me of a dad or uncle using social media that also happens to be famous.