Songs about the hopes we cling to and the regrets that cling to us. Rooted in rain-soaked cities and dry mouths, Varnish want to stand by you when the lights go out and occasionally point out the stars.
Seattle rock/post-punk/garage pop band Varnish are back from a change-filled break. Whilst not playing gigs, they've been sorting out new songs and a new bassist, amongst other things. They're eager to hit the stage with the songs you already love and some songs you haven't heard yet.
Amber Bird - Vocals and lyrics
Jason Cope - Guitar
Sanjeev Verma - Bass
aNdi pUzL - Drums
Varnish are steeped in the influence of dark, jangled pop via post-punk UK music that was dressed to kill and to do it fabulously, as well as "pre-punk" New York City bands that set the stage for the modern and alternative rock scenes that came next. Music where confusion becomes clarity and the extremes of human emotion are separated by a precariously thin tightrope, all backlit by a beautiful dissonance.
Though you may pick up on their love of British music, Varnish take some pride in the fact that fans can't easily pin them down. Who do they sound like? A little bit of a lot of bands, here and there...The comparisons are all favourable, people they admire, but usually end with the listener shrugging and saying, "They just sound like Varnish." ("Like so much good music we've heard before, but not derivative so it's hard to pin down just who they sound like.")
Live performances are thick with emotional authenticity and showcase the band’s varied tastes. Sets are filled with songs that inhabit similar space but don’t all sound the same. If you can't catch them live, you can rub up against the experience via their recordings. Either way, you get a chance to tap into Amber Bird's intense delivery and lyrics (known for being anything but trite), as well as Jason Cope's guitars (lauded as "clean, even when there's distortion"). Varnish are rounded out ably by their hardworking rhythm section (Sanjeev Verma on bass and aNdi pUzL on drums).
Currently based in Seattle, people often assume Varnish are a UK band. Perhaps whatever qualities lead to that assumption have also led to their international fan base. The Varnish Army (as Bird calls Varnish fans) in Europe justified holding the initial demo release in London, and Bird looks forward to returning to entertain the troops someday soon.
With live shows that never disappoint and a much-anticipated EP scheduled for a Spring 2014 release, it’s obvious that Varnish are set for big things. Says Bird, "Seattle has enough great bands that we could spark a big scene again. And Varnish are happy to light some fires..."
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