The band that would come to be called VARSITY started out as a good idea at a party in Chicago, IL in 2013. Stef Smith (vocals/keyboards) invited long time friends and guitarists Pat Stanton and Dylan Weschler to play a salon night, they had fun, and unlike many good ideas sparked at parties in Chicago, this one actually had legs come the bright light of morning. Smith asked if the guys wanted to play with her and the project was off and running.
VARSITY started becoming a staple at venues around Chicago and released their first full-length, "VARSITY," in March 2015. The Chicago Tribune lauded what fans of the live show already knew -- that the band's "sharp attention to detail, winning guitar riffs, and sweet melodies" provided a sound that is "refined and sophisticated, with a level of charisma that would typically be found in a group years older." (#ageism) VARSITY's meticulous approach to recording stands out: thirty minutes of streamlined, try-anything-once, catchy rock. The members of VARSITY are studio rats and "VARSITY" is a beautiful and sad album that is full of "did-you-catch-that?" moments that rewards multiple listens. The nine song LP features live staples "Amanda," and "C. 2002".
Starting in August 2015, VARSITY started putting out digital-only singles, the first being the rollicking "Cult of Personality / So Sad, So Sad." The next singles, "Eye To Eye / Kelly," from February 2016, saw VARSITY solidifying their lineup by adding Paul Stolz on bass. Every couple of months, VARSITY has recorded new singles, including "Smash / Still Apart" in June 2016 and, most recently, "Settle Down" in August 2017. This singles approach forced the band to push itself and explore new sounds. TIME Magazine said of "Eye To Eye," "This Chicago outfit arrives at its hooks in a roundabout way, but the path toward them is a delight—the pinging guitars, singsong verses, and pounding drums that lead to the schoolgirl-choir chorus of 'Eye To Eye' make this track a slice of melancholia that can be reveled in as much as it can be wallowed in." VARSITY has found a good partner in Dave Vettriano, who has recorded and produced all of the singles at various homes and studios in Chicago. VARSITY has also released music videos for "Still Apart" and "Settle Down."