The Atlanda outfit Starbenders’ frontwoman Kimi Shelter has described their music as “blasphemous candy-coated bubblegum punk.” “Blasphemous” may be a bit hyperbolic, but there’s no doubt an irreverence to Starbenders’ music, one that’s delivered through a sarcastically sugar-sweet image. Case in point: “Diet Soda”, the B-side to the group’s upcoming “Powder” 7-inch release. Although the tune itself is sunny and catchy at times, particularly in the verses, Shelter really lets it wail in the chorus, with the attention-grabbing line “Am I still beautiful to you with this blood on my hands?” becoming the most distinctive feature of the track.
As Shelter puts it to PopMatters, “I was staring at myself in the mirror at a bar one night after I had some drinks in me. Just looked into myself and said, ‘Am I still beautiful to you with this blood on my hands?’ Maybe a spirit traveled into me at that moment. I guess I channeled some woman on the run, a woman who had been persecuted.”
The “Powder / Diet Soda” 7-inch will be out through Institution Records digitally on iTunes and Spotify next Tuesday, 26 May.