Here’s everything we know so far about 2020’s ferociously fun Pinkshift.
Baltimore’s latest crème de la crème of the DIY scene is four-piece, fem-fronted, Pinkshift. Boosting to viral acclaim with their smashing hit single, “I’m Gonna Tell My Therapist On You”, you’ve probably seen their faces and memes all over Twitter – but who are Pinkshift, what is their agenda, and will they secure world domination by 2022?
Here’s your crash course into becoming a Pinkshift stan 101, you’re welcome.
- Wait so- who are they?
If you’re not well acquainted, here’s your introduction.
Pinkshift is Ashrita Kumar on vocals, Paul Vallejo on guitar, Myron Houngbedji on drums, and Erich Weinroth on bass. They’re from Baltimore and they have four singles out thus far, plus one demo single.
- They’re fresh-faced to the scene, but don’t let that fool you.
These rising underdogs have a bigger bite than their bark.
Straight out of college, the group formed in 2018 and have four singles under their belt; the eccentric “On Thin Ice”, “I’m Gonna Tell My Therapist On You”, and the moodier punker counterparts, “Toro” and “Rainwalk.” Yet, their infectious sound and lovable personalities have already amassed 26k monthly Spotify listeners and 42k views for the “I’m Gonna Tell My Therapist On You” music video. Hell might be hot, but Pinkshift’s music is hotter.
- They’re a little bit of everything.
This four-piece cook up genres like some kooky mad scientists.
The more obvious influences are 90s grunge, and 2000s pop punk but there’s a healthy dosage of riot grrl, punk rock, and post-hardcore thrown into mix for good measure. For older music fans it’s a burst of nostalgia, for younger music fans it’s a burst of something new.
Speaking to Brooklyn Vegan this month, they cite their influences as Babes In Toyland, Paramore, and My Chemical Romance. If you’ve ever thought “gee, I loved 2000 pop-punk and emo, but like, if you put it into a can of monster energy and shook it around a lot” then This. Is. It.
- Without Britney Spears and Tinder, there might have not been Pinkshift.
In that same interview with Brooklyn Vegan, Kumar delves into the bands formation two years ago. “Paul and I met in 2018 while putting together a Britney Spears cover” she explained. “And then we started writing songs. When we started writing a lot and decided we wanted to play these songs live, we found Myron while stalking the drum room at our college toward the end of that year, and Erich through a Tinder swipe about a year after that!”
Houndbedji added that the band had found him as a junior in college, overhearing him practicing drums in their college drum room – and the rest was history!
- Fun fact: Burger King is the fifth member of Pinkshift.
If you take a stroll over to their Instagram, the ‘fun facts’ highlight is a goldmine of information. From Burger King being the (un)official (but totally official) fast-food for Pinkshift, to their sessions always running an hour late, and the fact that, not only are Myron’s feet on backward, but he’s also 73% monster energy.
- They’re giving 2020 the representation it is in DIRE need of.
The winds of change are coming, and Pinkshift join a handful of fresh talents soaring into the next chapter of alternative music that is promising to be more inclusive. They aren’t just another group of 20-something white dudes singing about a relationship that ended 10 years ago, or hating the town they already left. Representation in the alternative music climate is still few and far between, to the bands that do make it out of the cracks of their local scene, they’re left to defend themselves against the stereotypes of “not looking like a typical punk/metal/rock band” or just straight up racism; it’s imperative that we uplift these talents and offer their experiences that are not heard enough.
In particular, South Asian women fronting punk bands in western society is still an unfortunate rarity, to finally be seen and have our own unique experiences and perspective vocalised on a wider platform is validating, well overdue, and just a refreshing change from the same old narrative.
- Okay, but what do they have coming up next?
Originally, they’d planned to release an EP in March 2020. Obviously COVID, like the rest of the music industry, derailed that project into the oblivion of unknown. It’s unclear when their EP or LP release will be, but for now you can check out their new track “Rainwalk” below: