With their fourth LP gearing up to be released May 29, it’s going to take a lot more than a pandemic to kill Varsity’s mood.
The Chicago-based five-piece infuses eccentric pop melodies with garage rock-fuzz over emotional lyrics and a danceable beat. Their upcoming album Fine Forever keeps and perfects those essential Varsity sounds while kicking up the dance vibes to a whole new level.
“We amped up the songwriting—it’s very fun,” Varsity keys/vocalist Stef Smith tells BTRtoday. “We also took longer to write it and record it, which is good,” guitarist Pat Staton adds. “It lets the songs breathe a little more.”
Fine Forever includes more instrumentals, like saxophone and additional percussion. Smith even says they were working on a new live act, but were forced to put it on pause once lockdown started. “I was really jazzed on that,” she says.
Varsity, “Reason To Run”
Varsity has had to put a lot of things on hold. They haven’t even seen each (besides on video chats) since they all were forced to quarantine separately, which can be rough during a new album cycle. But the group stays positive and is working hard to keep an online presence and hope for tours and live music in the future.
Smith and Stanton say that they’re currently more concerned about whether or not their favorite venues will be able to survive the crisis. But they remain optimistic, and no matter what actually goes down, they believe their scene will continue thriving.
“Understandably, it might be a little weird when things open up again and just to feel comfortable in a public space, who knows what that’s going to be like,” Smith says. “But in terms of people actually making music, I think musicians are really missing playing live.”
The new album title Fine Forever and its upbeat tracks couldn’t have come at a better time. With everyone in a frenzy over the complete uncertainty of the future, Varsity stays fine forever. And what’s the secret to their sanity during these insane times?
“Always eat dinner,” Smith says.
Fine Forever comes out May 29 on Run For Cover Records. Listen to the entire interview with Varsity’s Stef Smith and Pat Staton along with tracks from the upcoming album and 2019’s Basement Takes in its entirety on this week’s episode of The Music Meetup.