Varsity Announce New Collection LP
The Basement Takes (2015-2016)
Due Out 11/15 via Run For Cover Records
Share New Song “Second Act”
Preorders Available Now
Chicago, IL’s Varsity have been gaining a reputation as one of indie rock’s most exciting up-and-coming bands thanks to their irresistible brand of colorful guitar pop and undeniable hooks. The band recently joined the Run For Cover Records roster and now with a new full-length in the works they’re taking a look back at one of their most prolific and formative periods with The Basement Takes (2015-2016). Due out November 15th, the album is a collection of Varsity’s standalone singles along with two previously unreleased tracks. To mark the announcement the band have shared one of those unheard songs, “Second Act,” an undeniably catchy cut of chiming guitars, warm vocals, and shimmering keys.
The Basement Takes (2015-2016) follows Varsity‘s two full-lengths–their 2015 self-titled debut and 2018’s Parallel Person–and compiles the band’s output from three fruitful recording sessions with Dave Vettraino (Lala Lala, Melkbelly, Ne-Hi). The chronologically sequenced album provides insight into Varsity‘s sonic growth and also makes for a perfect entry point into the band’s already accomplished catalog, showcasing their effervescent jangle pop, synth-textured ballads, and everything in between.
Varsity have also announced a record release show on November 30th at Schubas Tavern in Chicago, see details below.
The Basement Takes (2015-2016) track list:
1. Cult of Personality
2. So Sad, So Sad
3. Taken By Surprise
4. Eye to Eye
6. Second Act
8. Still Apart
Since forming in 2013, Varsity have been gaining a reputation as one of indie rock’s most exciting up-and-coming bands thanks to their irresistible brand of colorful guitar pop and undeniable hooks. Now with two full-lengths (2015’s Varsity and 2018’s Parallel Person) under their belt and after joining Run For Cover Records, the Chicago band are looking back at one of their most prolific and formative periods with The Basement Takes (2015-2016): a collection of Varsity’s standalone singles and two previously unreleased tracks.
The Basement Takes (2015-2016) documents Varsity—vocalist/keyboardist Stef Smith, guitarists Dylan Weschler and Patrick Stanton, bassist Paul Stolz, and drummer Jake Stolz—truly coming into their own across three separate recording sessions with engineer/producer Dave Vettraino (Lala Lala, Ne-Hi, Melkbelly). The first session was a transitory time for the five-piece, with original drummer Spencer Smith leaving the band to move to Colorado, Jake switching to drums, and his brother Paul joining on bass. But the new lineup proved fruitful, and the band opted to release the songs as singles in order to put out new music as quickly as they were writing it.
The short recording time frame of the songs compiled on The Basement Takes (2015-2016) gives the album an unintentional cohesion, while the chronological sequence provides insight into the Varsity’s musical growth. Stanton looks back on the sessions as a key time in the band’s evolution. “I do feel like this is us trying to figure things out,” he explains. “But I think we did that successfully and accomplished the things we were trying to do.” Paul Stolz adds, “There’s definitely a progression through the songs. I think you can hear us tightening up and not trying to pack as much stuff in.”
Songs like “Cult of Personality” and “Still Apart” are expert indie pop songcraft, with Smith’s warm vocal melodies leading the way over jangling guitars and chiming keys. “Eye To Eye” and “Kelly” showcase Varsity’s different dynamics: the former driven to a cathartic conclusion by the Stolz brothers’ rhythm section; the latter a synth-textured ballad. And previously unreleased tracks “Taken By Surprise” and “Second Act” are essential additions to the Varsity songbook that highlight Smith’s slice-of-life lyricism and the band’s vibrant sound. With more new music on the way, Varsity are sure to continue growing their sound and their fanbase—making The Basement Takes (2015-2016) the perfect entry point into an already accomplished catalog.