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Starbenders continue this year's run of brilliant singles with joyous Can't Cheat Time

Starbenders
(Image credit: Sumerian)

Rising glamsters Starbenders have released another single and video from their Love Potions album. Can't Cheat Time follows Something Ain't Right, Cover Me and Push, and is, like the others, a triumph. 

As usual the Atlanta quartet have hoisted another giant chorus from their apparently bottomless well of melodic source material, but this time there's a distinct whiff of something very British about the arrangement. We'll let frontwoman Kimi Shelter explain. 

"Can't Cheat Time is a personal favourite amongst the band," she says. "This single has a wicked string arrangement reminiscent of Jeff Lynne from ELO's production style. It was so rewarding hearing all of it come together with the live string players. 

"The accompanying music video is a love letter to the mom and pop businesses that have shaped and supported our very existence. These businesses along with the touring industry have been devastated by the pandemic. We filmed in locations around Atlanta which include the local greasy spoon diner, the record shop, the independent guitar store, the watering hole and the divey small music venue."

Shelter goes on to say that while mega-retailers remained open during lockdown, 60% of small businesses forced to close their doors may never reopen. 

"These places are vital to the social and economic health of our cities," she adds. "We encourage our friends to go to Save Our Stages and sign up to push legislators to help independent venues though the updated Heroes Act. 

"So many are hurting and on the verge of financial ruin from lighting to sound engineers, musicians, DJs, security, bar staff and venue operators. Our hearts are with you all."

The band have also released an acoustic version of Can't Cheat Time, which retains the string arrangement and rattles along very nicely. We suggest you listen to both.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 35 years in music industry, online for 22. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović. Likes cats.