Soundbite: Varsity

Varsity is an American indie rock band from Chicago, IL that formed in 2013. The band is comprised of five members: Stephanie Smith, lead vocals and synth; Dyland Weschler, guitar and backing vocals; Patrick Stanton, guitar; and Stolz brothers Jake and Paul who play the drums and bass guitar. Their music style is very upbeat with exciting rhythm and guitar melodies. The lead singer’s melancholic voice complements the lively sounds, adding in a mixture of the sadness. This type of music might appeal to an audience who also enjoys similar artists such as Rex Orange County, Vampire Weekend or The XX.

Their recent album “Parallel Person” came out in 2018 and included 10 songs. With this new album, they hoped to bring their music to new depths that express themes of the uphill battle of artistic frustration, isolation and popularity that they often experience. In the previous years, they released a 9-song album called “Varsity,” just like the band’s name, and other singles. Their singles are often released with two complimentary songs, like “Cult of Personality/So Sad, So Sad” (2015).  Compared to the 2018 album, “Varsity” was more relaxed as they did not incorporate as much of their upbeat style as they did in “Parallel Person.” The new release reflects on how the band felt at the time they were creating it. We can hear the stress and overwhelmed quality that has not been present before.

Mainstream music isn’t something I enjoy listening to because it feels too generic, and it isn’t something I can connect to easily. Exploring indie rock, I was able to find music with a sense of originality — something I’m not able to find on most radio stations these days. My first impression while listening this genre was that it felt authentic:the music style and lyrics sounded genuine and unique. Unlike the popular mainstream songs, this type of music does not sound like it was copied from another artist. That’s why Varsity, one of the indie bands I discovered, best represents indie music. Their use of creativity and authenticity helps create great music to connect to their audience, even if it’s a small one.

In an interview with Teal Magazine, the band mentioned that there were ups and downs that they experienced as a group.  When they were just starting up as a new indie rock band, they felt lost and clueless when things didn’t go their way. However, they were able to overcome this struggle when they realized that every band must go through a similar process to become who they are in today’s music industry. Now, they are more conscious regarding their working process, knowing it’s not always easy but still hoping to bring the best to their fans.

Varsity is still a growing band with millions of plays on Youtube and Spotify. Follow and support the band on Instagram at @varsitytunes, or check out their website to see more of their released works and live shows.

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