On their Tumblr page, up-and-coming rockers StarBenders describe their sound as akin to “Iggy Pop playing 7 minutes in heaven with Katy Perry.” It’s a bold and playful declaration, one that’s befitting of the group’s youthful presence. However, the Iggy Pop comparison also hints at the punk edge that rears its head throughout the otherwise thoroughly poppy songs StarBenders play. “Touch”, a tune from their forthcoming self-titled EP, is an ideal representation of the band’s style.
Singer and guitarist Kimi Shelter tells PopMatters about the song, “Me and my producer Nico Constantine have an inside joke—if something strikes me as material for a song, I say, ‘I’ll have it on your desk by tomorrow morning.’ We always have a good laugh about it. The day I came up with “Touch,” I asked him what I should write about. He said, ‘You need a song about sex.’
“I’m like, ‘No problem—I know a little bit about that.’ ‘Touch’ was born out of the initial riff you hear at the beginning of the song, and the rest of the music is built around that. It was one of those songs I didn’t have to force—I was just along for the ride.
“In the first verse, the female is empowered. There’s a line where she’s talking to the guy—‘It’s pretty cute that you think you’re in control.’ Then, in the second verse, I decided to pull it back and bring out a more vulnerable side. Girls always act tough when they’re in pursuit, but after the deed is done, that’s when the vulnerability comes out. This song shows vulnerability on both sides, both from the man being pursued and the woman afterward. The girl’s in control in the beginning, and the boy’s in control by the end. Which is something I identify with. I always joke around that I need to be put in my place. There’s nothing sexier than that.”
StarBenders’ self-titled debut EP will be out this fall through Institution Records.