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Comprised of Stephanie Smith (vocals/synths), Dylan Weschler (guitar), Pat Stanton (guitar) and brothers Jake(drums) and Paul Stolz (bass), VARSITY is flexipop transfused with sepia-soaked indie rock, a five-napkin band wiping down memories of faux-nostalgia and expired suburbia.
In 2013, the Chicago quintet debuted its first EP, Thanks for Nothing, and subsequently released VARSITY, a self-titled LP, in March 2015. Both releasesare the infectious sum of each member’s musical aesthetics, and impossibly weighted with all the good stuff – a misbehaved tone and frenetic pulse that polaroids the last recess before summer vacation, tetherball realism, and sunny slaps in the face. Smith’s pliable lyrics and remedying voice make each song feel like she wrote it just for you–your very own five-foot-something bedroom beat poet.
The well-received releases garnered VARSITY an eclectic following, shimmering blog affection, and a spot in Chicago weekly Redeye’s “10 under-the-radar, must-own Chicago releases from 2015.” Along with being featured over the airwaves on WHPK, WXRT’s “Local Anesthetic,” CHIRP Radio and WLUW’s Clambake (showcasing songs by “ladies, women, and grrrls”), the band’s badges include support for Courtney Barnett, Alvvays, Car Seat Headrest, Twin Peaks, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Diet Cig and Protomartyr.
“VARSITY…takes summery pop hooks and gives them a distinctly rough edge, likeif acts like Tennis or Best Coast had more crunchy guitar riffs and piercing rock jams,” writes Josh Terry, Chicago Redeye.
The band is currently releasing a new split single “Eye To Eye” b/w “Kelly” and kicking off an East Coast tour in March. Much like their acclaimed 2015 split single release, “Cult of Personality” b/w “So Sad, So Sad” VARSITY again sounds wistful, unhinged, and fun like a fridge full of beer.
Noah Davies, while writing and playing for bands in the Los Angeles, slowly grew accustomed to recording sonic paracosms in solitude, a habit that grew and developed when he recently relocated to New York City. With his exploration came a newfound fervor for stylistic synthesis, resulting in songs rooted heavily in neo-psychedelic retrospect, with tinges of 90s boom-bap and bedroom pop. This distinct musical perspective aims to homogenize whispering voices of past decades with that of a 21st century daydreamer.
Since releasing their debut EP through Invertebrate in March 2015, the band has been featured in Stereogum, Buzzfeed, The Fader, Earmilk, BrooklynVegan, as well as an appearance on the web series BalconyTV performing their latest single “never.” In the past few months the band has shared the stage with Cloud Nothings, Sunflower Bean, Ricky Eat Acid, and are embarking on their first North American tour this spring which includes an appearance at the South By Southwest Music Festival. The band plans to release their debut album in the fall of 2016.