Comprised of Stephanie Smith (vocals/keyboards), Dylan Weschler (guitars), Pat Stanton (guitars) 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 releases are 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, like if 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 digital double A-side single, “Smash / Still Apart”, and kicking off another East Coast tour in July. Much like the acclaimed split single releases before them, VARSITY again sounds wistful, unhinged, and fun like a fridge full of beer.