Pinkshift; Credit: Leigh Ann Rodgers

Baltimore punk trio Pinkshift make radical music in both senses of the word—it’s rad and it’s radical. Their explosive new single “Get Out,” with its sick riffs and “Get out of my face” chorus, also serves as a means of taking back space from White supremacy and the patriarchy as queer artists of color, especially in their live show. “I wanted it to have that quality that is easy to shout back even if you hadn’t heard it before, because that’s what makes the space feel so bonded,” says singer Ashrita Kumar. “I think most of the time our audience overwhelmingly reflects us, so it feels really cathartic to share those feelings in a collective space.” Pinkshift formed in 2018 at Johns Hopkins University, but they carved out much of that collective space during the pandemic. In the summer of 2020, their single “I’m Gonna Tell My Therapist on You” became a runaway online hit, recently breaking 7 million streams on Spotify alone. They’ve since signed to Hopeless Records to release their Will Yip-produced debut album, Love Me Forever, which drops Oct. 21. The early tracks show off a slicker surface and a harder core than their past work. “I think we really pulled out all the tricks for this one,” Kumar says. “None of us have ever written an album before, so to write one that feels this good, that was so collaborative, feels like a huge accomplishment.” Drummer Myron Houngbedji agrees, adding: “It’s truly a representation of our growth and the challenges we’ve faced individually and collectively in the past few years.” Coinciding with the release of Love Me Forever, Pinkshift kick off their first full U.S. headlining tour on Oct. 20 with Jigsaw Youth and Yasmin Nur. The stakes might be high, but guitarist Paul Vallejo says that only fuels their live show’s righteous fire. “There seems to be more pressure that we put on ourselves just knowing that we have people specifically coming for Pinkshift,” he says. “And that pushes us to really make the best of every second we have on stage!” Pinkshift play at 7 p.m. on Oct. 21 at Songbyrd in Northeast. $16. 

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