There’s a resigned wistfulness blowing through Varsity Of Winter, the debut album from Milwaukee’s Soda Road. Written by former Sat. Nite Duets member Stephen Strupp during the Polar Vortex of 2014, it’s a melancholy, stay-at-home-and-bundle-up kind of record, cut from the same cloth as Strupp’s 2014 solo album Danke Für Das Gilt, or his alter-ego work with The Blue Mooners. “Take me away with a capital ‘A’ / I don’t wish to remain” Strupp sings in the opening title song. That about sums it up.
Not that there isn’t time for some self-deprecating levity on Varsity Of Winter. Take “Four White Horses,” a shuffling country ditty that contains this zinger: “I’d lift weights but they’re too heavy / Rather lift lines from Tom Petty.” Then there’s the lovely, hand-crafted video by Brooklyn-based artist Kate Klingbeil, which speaks for itself:
Need more Soda Road in your life? Of course you do. Catch the band (featuring Midnight Reruns’ Graham Hunt and Sam Reitman) at Puddler’s Hall Friday, April 27 at 9 p.m., as part of Arte Para Todos 2018.