The Baltimore-based trio Pinkshift – Ashrita Kumar (vocals, they/them), Paul Vallejo (guitar, he/him), Myron Houngbedji (drums, he/him) – have been making their mark both in the U.S. and across the pond since forming in 2018, thanks to a string of critically acclaimed singles, and tours with the likes of PUP and Mannequin Pussy. They eschewed plans for medical school and chemical engineering to pursue music, deliver powerful messages, and show fellow POC artists that they can and should take up space in a predominantly white music scene, and the result is one of the most inventive bands in the punk scene today.
Pinkshift have announced their long-awaited debut album Love Me Forever, out October 21st via Hopeless Records. The LP was recorded by Will Yip (Turnstile, Mannequin Pussy, The Wonder Years, Circa Survive, Tigers Jaw) and over the course of its’ 12 blistering songs, Love Me Forever completely unleashes the full force and fury of the band.
Following last month’s release of “nothing (in my head),” which exemplified the band’s agility as they walk the line between riot grrl, punk rock, and post-hardcore, Pinkshift share a new single entitled “i’m not crying, you’re crying.” Featuring a rush of guitars and drums, accelerating into a frenzy of raw, ragged emotion, “i’m not crying, you’re crying” is a breakneck journey into the heart, soul and mind of a band that, clearly, have a lot to get off their chest, and who do so just as viscerally as they do emotionally. “‘crying’ is the one song on the record that I didn’t start with a particular direction, just raw and unfiltered emotion,” explains Kumar. “As the first song on Love Me Forever, it kicks the record off with a panicked denial – an immediately attacking response to the question of “are you okay?” untrusting and doubtful of the intent and sincerity of that question.”
Photo Courtesy: Leigh Ann Rodgers