Thursday 1 February 2018


Here there is the sound of a vague dwindling hope sailing through the air like a stream of faint aurora lights, against the void of despair and the absence of hope. The rounded, clanging synths have a delicious texture to them – tinged with warped decay – as they play the downcast melody, but things do begin to look up, the plaintive song teeters between giving-up and persevering, the beat propelling it forward with clusters of thin snares, and later a shimmering parade of icy cymbals. An ambient hiss whooshes as a backdrop, making this feel all the more vital, authentic, a mild eruption of life amidst a broken landscape.

It arrives from the mind of New York-based musicmaker Varsity Star. Beginning life as an idea on a friend's Roland Alpha Juno, recorded on an iPhone and archived, it was two years until it surfaced again. "The morning after the 2016 election in the US, I came across the recording again and immediately felt where it could go," the producer told us via email. "The working title was "Hopeless", but after I got more of a blooming sound into it, I felt like there was more to the track than that, so I called it "Soft Nothing". I like to keep titles short if I can, and for me that was the shortest way to describe my late-2016 feeling of insignificance."

  • 🔔 This is from Varsity Star's self-released album Model Home. Speaking to us about the ideas behind it, the musicmaker told us that it was inspired by the scenery of the New England suburb in which he grew up. "I don't expect anyone listening to necessarily see those same things that I do when they hear the music," he explained, "and that's why I chose the title Model Home: it's there for people to put their own 'furniture' into and visualize their own experiences in." You can stream it, and purchase it, on Bandcamp.
  • 🔔 The art for the album is by London-based studio Partners In Crime; Varsity Star told us about them: "The designers who worked on the album cover did a really beautiful job of bringing that kind of vague notion of the area [of New England] to life, especially considering they're from another continent."

Varsity Star Internet Presence ☟
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