The Chicago garage-pop band Varsity makes music that isn’t restricted by nostalgia for or the sound of a specific decade—upbeat enough for the 1950’s, unique enough for the 90’s, and certainly intelligent and odd enough for now, Varsity doesn’t pigeonhole themselves into any particular category of sound.
Lead singer Stef Smith has a dynamic voice that can transition between bittersweet and bubbly as easily as one might change a shade of lipstick. Even as they move through their chameleon-like set list, they maintain a very specific identity that only becomes clear once they come to the end of their late night set at Mercury Lounge in Manhattan.
Varsity has fun! This may sound trite, but seeing a band evoke genuine joy, even as they sing about the trials of love and missed connections, you know that not a single one of them would rather be anywhere but on that stage at that very moment.