Starbenders’ Kimi Shelter: My 5 Favorite Love Songs

It’s pretty fitting that Atlanta-based alt-glam band Starbenders released their abum Love Potions on Valentine’s Day. Not because of the romantic title of the album, but because their entrancing, ultra-heavy goth Fleetwood Mac vibes that seem to ensnare the listener deeper into from the  desert-riffy “Hangin’ On Tonight” to the catchy as hell “Bitches Be Witches” to the real surprise gem of the record: a dark yet twinkly cover of Depeche Mode’s moody classic, “Precious.”

Shelter spoke to us about her 5 favorite love songs of all time — and after hearing a few spins of Love Potions, it seems she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to the subject of love — and how rock ‘n’ roll can inspire it.

Demis Roussos – Forever and Ever

Demis Roussos was the lead singer of the progressive psych rock band Aphrodite’s Child. Have you ever heard of this guy? Demis has a voice that lifts my spirit to the top of the firmament. I am filled with love from the very first note. Untouchable love song, perfect production and a vocal delivery you can hang your hat on. “Forever and ever, you’ll be the one.” Thank you Demis. Your soul is eternal.

HIM – Love You Like I Do

Ville Valo has one of the sultriest, sex-inducing baritone voices in the history of recorded music. FUCK!! Sometimes, the only way I know how to clearly express myself is saying, “fuck.” ‘Love You Like I Do” is a gothic masterpiece that compromises me so deeply. I can’t help but feel that Ville is undressing me with his melodies.

ABBA – Lay All Your Love On Me

ABBA is more than a guilty pleasure, they are a religion to me. ‘Lay All Your Love On Me” has an incredible synth intro that is followed by the best Euro disco dance beat ever. You can tell Madonna lifted the verse for ‘Papa Don’t Preach” from it. It’s ok Madonna, we forgive you because why not borrow from the best?! This song just kills me. Don’t waste that emotion!

The Moody Blues – Nights In White Satin

The production and mix of “Nights in White Satin” is so unreal, you forget that human beings created it. The song is so otherworldly that you are transported to another realm. “Letters I’ve written, never meaning to send” is a line that is pure, simple and packs an emotional punch. It hits me in ways beyond measure.

Blue Öyster Cult – Don’t Fear The Reaper

Here’s a number about a love affair that transcends death which just appeals to my inner goth. I just wish I had written it. Goddamnit, it’s so brilliant that I can’t stand it! “Valentine is done. Here but now they’re gone. Romeo and Juliet are together in eternity.” This song got hijacked by the “more cowbell” SNL skit but to me, there is nothing funny about this shit.

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Header photo by Vegas Giovanni