Varsity’s Unique Journey: “Souvenirs” LP Unveils a Year’s Musical Tapestry

Indie-pop outfit Varsity is set to deliver a distinctive musical narrative with their upcoming album, Souvenirs, set to release on February 16. The band, consisting of Stef Smith, Dylan Weschler, Patrick Stanton, Paul Stolz, and Jake Stolz, embarked on a creative experiment in 2023, crafting a song each month to compile into a full-length LP.

Having gained recognition in Chicago’s DIY music scene over the past decade, Varsity has continually evolved its sound. For Souvenirs, the band adopted an unconventional approach, opting for monthly jam sessions to develop songs free from the weight of a traditional album recording process.

“At the beginning of each month, we’d get together and workshop some ideas and run with what we felt was the strongest one at the time,” Stanton explained. “We would write the song together in our practice space, play it through a couple of times, and then hit record.”

This creative journey allowed Varsity, with nearly a decade of musical experience, to experiment with songwriting and explore diverse influences. Each track drew inspiration from different artists, ranging from Crumb’s “Reference Point” to Paul McCartney’s “Bought the Farm.”

With 12 new tracks encapsulating a year’s worth of artistic exploration, the band enlisted Ben Lumsdaine and Michael MacDonald for mixing, with Weschler overseeing the final touches. The resulting LP, Souvenirs, shares its title with one of the tracks and promises to be a testament to the band’s creative evolution throughout the year.

Stanton expressed, “Each song represents a moment in time from the year past. Not only what music we were listening to and were inspired by, but where each one of us was emotionally.”

Music enthusiasts can get a preview of the musical journey with the titular track, “Souvenirs,” and the full album is set to drop on February 16.