BY LYDIA RIVERS
Mainstay Chicago indie-pop group Varsity put out “Reason to Run,” the second single off their upcoming album Fine Forever releasing May 29 through Run For Cover Records. With lyrics that stick in your head and a bright sound, the track shows off what Varsity is best at and solidifies their sound as a standout in indie-pop.
Singer and keyboardist Stef Smith tells stories through her song-writing, and “Reason to Run” is no different. The track is an upward spiral with an upbeat, guitar-centric sound and hypnotic vocals that detail the bittersweet feeling of needing to move on, “Gotta get the show on the road / So I’m changing my name / Trying to find a way to let go.” The song hints at a new, clearer direction for the group while bringing along what they’re known for. Through their power pop melodies and catchy choruses, Varsity has the skill to transport you into their own world while still preserving enough ambiguity to let the listener find their own way there.
The tragedy of “Reason to Run” feels like one part of a greater adventure, and that feeling was confirmed. The band said in a press statement that “Reason to Run” was written as a reply, “The song serves as a response to ‘Runaway,’ written from the other person’s perspective. While in ‘Runaway’ the protagonist is pleading with someone to stay, here we have someone who’s made up their mind to leave the situation they’re in and cut all ties.”
Varsity said that the accompanying music video was created during the ongoing stay-at-home orders, “The video itself was recorded while we were in quarantine, self-shot by each member and the compiled and filmed by our friends at Weird Life Films – the video builds on the idea of being trapped and needing to get out.” The timing of the music video couldn’t be more oddly serendipitous. With each band member shown stuck on TV in the music video and stuck at home in actuality, the feeling of needing to get out couldn’t be felt more universally.
The track was written after all the other songs on Fine Forever were recorded, and we’re glad it made the cut. The breezy song is perfect for a loud late night ride with nowhere to go, and is a sweet glimpse into what’s to come on Fine Forever.
Stream “Reason to Run” and look out for Fine Forever releasing May 29!