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Posted on April 7th, 2020
Varsity - 'Fine Forever' out 5/29, listen to the first single 'Runaway" now

Watch the 'Runaway' music video | Listen on SpotifyPre-order 'Fine Forever'

From the very start of “Runaway,” the opening track on Varsity’s third album 'Fine Forever', it’s clear that the Chicago quintet has morphed into something new. While still working in indie-pop tradition that recalls groups like Fleetwood Mac, Rilo Kiley, and Alvvays, the band has taken the recognizable pieces of their sound and reached across sonic boundaries to reframe the genre in their own image.

Varsity have built an impressive catalog in a relatively short period of time, and with their 2015 self-titled debut, 2018’s Parallel Person, and a run of singles collected on 2019’sThe Basement Takes all under their belt, the band sought a new approach for their third full-length. To record 'Fine Forever', vocalist/keyboardist Stef Smith, guitarists Dylan Weschler and Patrick Stanton, bassist Paul Stolz, and drummer Jake Stolz, put their trust in producer Ben Lumsdaine as if he were the band's sixth member. “Ben really helped free our minds and let us focus on playing music,” says bassist Paul Stolz, and the proof is in the final product.

Lumsdaine’s encouragement and their own willingness to leave behind their music comfort zones, Varsity sound just as confident on the album’s crisp guitar pop (the rousing title track or shimmering jangle of “Shaking Hands”) as they do on its more exploratory cuts (the sprawling “Memphis Group” or the instrumental interlude “Surfin’ Milwaukee”). “Going into it, we just knew ourselves so much better as a band and as a working, collaborative unit than we ever have before. We played these songs so much, they were just in our veins,” says Weschler, who notes that they’d spent nearly three years working on album closer “Sicko World” until it felt totally right. It’s that collective effort that allows 'Fine Forever' to feel deeply considered while still remaining totally and unpredictably human.

That humanity extends to 'Fine Forever‘s' lyrics, where Smith built a series of vignettes that read like a short story collection about the modern world. “I used to be a documentary filmmaker, so narrative nonfiction is sort-of my view of the world,” says Smith. “These songs are all different stories, and I relate to those stories, but I’m not the protagonist.” Throughout Fine Forever, Varsity digs deep into what it means to be a person, without shying away from the ugliness that comes along with it. It’s never prescriptive, but rather textural and evocative, with the band's music and Smith’s lyrics often leaning on one another. “Memphis Group” sees Smith exploring the Italian design group’s rise and fall, while the dynamic arrangement mirrors the shifting story.“Steph is really good at listening to the nuances of the song and writing to that, understanding the song deeply enough to make the lyrics fit with the emotional arc of the music,” says Stolz.It’s something that Smith is conscious of, allowing the band to rehearse the songs to the point where the music brings the lyrics right out of her. The delicate strut in “Reason To Run” is a prime example, the song describes someone trying to muster the courage to leave a negative situation, and Smith notes that its music already told the narrative before she even put pen to paper.

From the title on down, 'Fine Forever' is a pointed declaration of intent. It sees Varsity unified around their vision and achieving a sound they’d always been searching for. It’s a record that defies simple categorizations, taking full advantage of the wide range of sounds and styles that can fall under the umbrella of “indie pop,” all while managing to maintain a welcoming accessibility. “I love when people say they don’t know what genre we are,” says Smith, and the deeper you get into 'Fine Forever', it’s easy to see why.

Posted on February 24th, 2020
RFC for Bernie - Debate watching party and canvassing events @ RFCHQ - starts tomorrow

We, the employees and staff of Run For Cover Records, are proud to endorse Bernie Sanders for President. As a group of individuals, we have spent the formative parts of our lives releasing records, booking shows, playing in bands and being shaped by music scenes locally and nationally. We recognize the transformative power of community and we recognize every individual’s power to shape their community. As such, we are proud to endorse and to participate in a political revolution intent on building a grassroots movement to fight for justice and equality in all its forms.

Bernie’s platform puts forth the most comprehensive vision for a just and fair society: he unequivocally supports Medicare For All and the fact that healthcare is a human right. He supports the elimination of all medical debt. He supports tuition and debt-free public college and the cancellation of all student debt. His plan to combat climate change with a Green New Deal is the most ambitious amongst all of the presidential candidates. He plans to ban for-profit prisons and entirely reform our prison system. These along with the rest of Sanders’ policies will help provide a framework for a more just and equal future for all.

Accomplishing these goals will require nothing less than a mass movement to transform society. Bernie has already begun that process, and we trust a Sanders presidency to continue to inspire that movement most effectively. His candidacy has received the most individual donations in the history of American politics. He is the only candidate who has refused corporate donations, and he most starkly speaks to the ways in which corporate power has transformed our society to the benefit of the wealthy few. He has a decades-long, remarkably consistent record supporting progressive policies and the rights of working people.

In that community spirit, our Allston, MA office will become a canvass hosting location running each weekday beginning tomorrow and (for now) running through Super Tuesday (March 3rd). Working alongside other volunteers and staff within the Sanders campaign, we’ll help provide a launch point for canvassers to knock doors in our state. Door-to-door canvassing and having direct conversations with voters is hands down the most effective way to spread our message. If you’ve never done it before, now is a great time to get involved! It’s fun, easy and rewarding. To sign up to canvass with us, please see the schedule and RSVP here.

Canvassing Times:
Tuesday 2/25: 5pm - 8pm
Wednesday 2/26: 5pm - 8pm
Thursday 2/27: 5pm - 8pm
Friday 2/28: 5pm - 8pm

Monday 3/2: 8am - 8pm
Tuesday 3/3: 8am - 8pm

Also tomorrow (Tuesday Feb 25) we will host a debate watch party for the Democratic debate which begins at 8pm ET, so please stay after canvassing and hang with us.

Lastly, if you live in a state that hasn’t voted yet, please head to to make sure you’re registered and to find out your voting time and location.

Donate to the Bernie Sanders campaign #notmeus

In solidarity,


Posted on February 18th, 2020
Portrayal of Guilt / Slow Fire Pistol - Split 7" streaming now

Today, Portrayal of Guilt and Slow Fire Pistol are streaming their bludgeoning split 7" everywhere. Pre-orders for physical copies are available now and moving quickly.

You can also catch Portrayal of Guilt on tour this March, including dates with Slow Fire Pistol, as well as Chat Pile, Horsewhip, and PeZ. Dates below, and tickets are on sale now.

03/06 – Houston, TX @ Red Dwarf *
03/07 – Baton Rouge, LA @ The Woodshop *
03/08 – Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub +
03/09 – Tampa , FL @ Blue Note +
03/10 – Miami, FL @ Churchill’s
03/11 – Gainesville, FL @ The Atlantic ^
03/12 – Jacksonville, FL @ Rain Dogs ^
03/13 – Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern #
03/14 – Atlanta, GA @ The Bakery #
03/15 – Birmingham, AL @ Seasick Records #
03/16 – Hattiesburg, MS @ Sin Den
03/17 – New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
03/18 – Dallas, TX @ Three Links
04/03 – Helsinki, FI @ Cactus
04/04 – Tampere, FI @ Kenneli D.I.Y.
04/05 – Berlin, DE @ An Der Autobahn
04/06 – Weimar, DE @ Gerber 3
04/07 – Leipzig, DE @ Felsenkeller
04/08 – Stuttgart, DE @ Club Zentral
04/09 – Paris, FR @ l’ESS’pace
04/10 – Nottingham, UK @ Stuck on a Name Studios
04/11 – Sheffield, UK @ Network
04/12 – Bristol, UK @ Rough Trade
04/13 – London, UK @ The Black Heart
04/14 – TBA
04/15 – TBA
04/16 – Hasselt, BE @ WERF
04/17 – Bochum, DE @ Die Trompete
04/18 – Darmstadt, DE @ Oettinger Villa
04/19 – Tilburg, NL @ Roadburn Festival

* = w/ Chat Pile
+ = w/ Horsewhip
# = w/ Slow Fire Pistol
^ = w/ PeZ