Baltimore-based trio Pinkshift have announced their long-awaited debut album, Love Me Forever, coming Oct. 21 on Hopeless Records. Recorded by Will Yip (Turnstile, Mannequin Pussy, The Wonder Years, Circa Survive, Tigers Jaw), the LP’s 12 tracks include last month’s “nothing (in my head),” as well as album opener “i’m not crying, you’re crying,” out now.
Ashrita Kumar (vocals, they/them), Paul Vallejo (guitar, he/him) and Myron Houngbedji (drums, he/him) formed Pinkshift in 2018, releasing a series of acclaimed singles in 2020 and their Saccharine EP in 2021, and touring alongside the likes of PUP and Mannequin Pussy. Members put their plans for medical school and chemical engineering aside to pursue music. “I feel like the biggest thing of us existing in this scene is just for more people of color being able to see us—and if they had doubts about going into music or like occupying this kind of space because of what the scene is like, they’ll be like, ‘Oh, wait … ’,” says Houngbedji. “We’ve had people of color come up to us after we played saying, ‘You make me want to start my own band,’ or ‘You made me feel more comfortable being there without being scrutinized.’ And I think that counts for something.”
The band’s passion for what they’re doing bleeds into their sound: “i’m not crying, you’re crying” is both instrumentally and emotionally explosive, blending pop-punk hooks with the fiery intensity of riot grrrl and post-hardcore. Over Vallejo and Houngbedji’s racing guitar and drums, Kumar conveys vulnerability even while walling off their heart, but caustically rejects self-pity: “Would you watch my words as they leave my lips / And tell me how you’re sorry for me / As if you ever even cared?” they sneer in the bridge, insisting on their own independence even in the face of loneliness and pain.
“‘crying’ is the one song on the record that I didn’t start with a particular direction, just raw and unfiltered emotion,” says Kumar in a statement. “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.”
Watch the lyric video for “i’m not crying, you’re crying” below, and find the details of Love Me Forever further down.
Love Me Forever Tracklist:
01. i’m not crying you’re crying
02. nothing (in my head)
03. GET OUT
04. cherry (we’re all gonna die)
05. the kids aren’t alright
06. Trust Fall
07. in a breath
09. BURN THE WITCH
10. Love Me Forever
11. let me drown
Love Me Forever Art: