We began the Dream Jukebox series in 2015. I picked 50 albums perfect for a 100 CD jukebox and had 50 artists and writers I like pick 50 albums. We published entries 00-49 of Volume 2. Varsity kicks off entries 50-99.
Varsity’s upcoming record, Parallel Person, is full of songs you’ll hear in passing and ask, “Who is this?” It’s the perfect album to put on any jukebox because it’s instantly comfortable.
The ten track album is packed with 3 to 4 minute pop songs with the last track on the album, “Alone In My Principles” clocks in 8:22. Like any good long, last song, it rewards the listener with some atmospheric noodling.
My favorite non-single, “Watching You,” is one of the slower tracks on the album so it’s not something you’d want to play in a full bar but it’s the kind of song that’ll stick in your head.
The song that’ll get played the most is “Must Be Nice,” a jangly, head boppin’ feel good track that’ll cut through loud conversations in a loud bar.
Varsity’s record release show is Friday, April 20 at The Empty Bottle in Chicago. They play D.C.’s Black Cat May 3 and Brooklyn’s Union Pool May 5 and NYC’s Mercury Lounge May 7. Parallel Person will be released April 27 on Babe City Records.
This is a record that all of us love from beginning to end and have listened to during many nighttime drives. The album is the story of a party gone off the rails told from multiple points of view and it absolutely holds up to hundreds of listens. Shauf’s tunes would encourage late night drunk dancing, sharing of intimate secrets, and possibly a long-time-coming argument between close friends, which is all we really hope to see at a bar anyways. I imagine many tispy couples putting on the last track, “Martha Sways,” and poorly slow dancing while the bartenders are trying to close up.
Read Dream Jukebox Volume 2, Slots 00-49 with picks from Bad Bad Hats, Bleached, Derek Brown, Eternal Summers, Janeane Garofalo, Todd Glass, Etgar Keret, Kylesa, The Mountain Goats, Phoebe Robinson, Al Scorch and more
Read Dream Jukebox Volume 1, Slots 00-49 with picks from Black Cat, JC Brooks, Rob Delaney, Trace Dominguez, Landlady, Lydia Loveless, Daniel Knox, James Nasty, Perfume Genius, White Mystery and more
Read Dream Jukebox Volume 1, Slots 50-99 with picks from Brendan Canty, The Handsome Family, Daniel Kibblesmith, Local H, Lera Lynn, Murder By Death, Paperhaus, Pity Sex, Speedy Ortiz, Wussy and more