“If You Need It” single art

For all the retro-inspired music from the last decade, glam rock is one which has taken a surprising backseat. Whether it was deemed too goofy or nostalgic for all the wrong reasons, there are very few bands that have brought glam rock to life in this day and age. That’s why it’s all the more surprising, and wonderful, that Atlanta-based group Starbenders continue their string of hits in this beloved niche genre with their latest single and music video, “If You Need It.”

Visually, Starbenders are somewhere between fellow glam rock acts The Struts and The Darkness — but musically, they hit somewhere more akin to Meg Myers’ driving, melancholic beats, especially on their latest single. “If You Need It” is a powerful rock song, plain and simple. It’s flow from verse to chorus to the climactic finale builds in all the right places, giving each of the four members great moments to shine. With lyrics like, “Fear I’m changing with the seasons / Maybe someday we can beat this / Got nine lives,” along with the hard-hitting chorus, it’s not hard to see “If You Need It” as a song about wallowing in pain from both ourselves and others. And while glam rock is Starbenders’ bread and butter, even front woman Kimi Shelter admits that the song came from a much darker place than usual:

The band recorded ‘If You Need It’ during a very difficult time in our lives. The sands were shifting beneath our feet as we stood in the studio. The sentiment of the song is captured in the chorus, “I’ve got love if you need it, drugs to keep it even. I can’t take the pain.” It’s impossible to fix people and that doesn’t mean we didn’t love them enough or do enough. Pain is a dignity that we alone have to transmute. The result is a metallic clash between feathers and switchblades.”

That being said, Starbenders aren’t beyond having some fun with their dark musical turn. The music video for “If You Need It” is like a short story, full of twists and turns and incredibly engaging characters. The video stars the four band members as they’re stuck in dingy hotel rooms with no chance of escape, try as they might. They are soon brought pills with water — the former of which they reject outright or hide in their hair or clothes. Eventually, men in white coats escort the willing band members from their hotel rooms and to a venue where rich patrons wear masks and drink what might be blood. But before they slave away to the whims of the party guests, the members of Starbenders lace the blood-drink with their pills — which leads to everyone falling on the floor lifeless by the end of the video, as the quartet takes a bow.

Starbenders may have gone a bit darker both musically and lyrically on their latest track, but it’s a turn that’s still full of fun surprises and well-thought-out twists, and definitely warrants a look into the unique style of the band’s other material. Starbenders is on tour between now and mid-July, with stops all over North America. You can listen to Starbenders’ latest single, “If You Need It,” and watch the music video, below!

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