For how influential rock music and its niche genres have become since the 1950s, there’s no denying that, in many cases, the style oftentimes lacks diversity. While there are no doubt many talented women, people of color and similarly diverse individuals in bands and as solo artists, rock is still more often than not the domain of white men — especially when it comes to its angrier cousin, punk. But now, with multiple pieces of exciting album and tour news from rising band Pinkshift, the landscape for the genre just may be shifting for the better.

Originally students at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, Pinkshift is comprised of vocalist Ashrita Kumar, guitarist Paul Vallejo and drummer Myron Houngbedji — each of whom gave up potential careers in traditional fields like medicine and chemical engineering to pursue music. Formed in 2018 and with a number of sold-out shows and viral songs under their belt, Pinkshift are now going on a headlining tour across North America between October 20 and November 18, with Jigsaw Youth and Yasmin Sur as supporting acts. Tickets can be purchased for the tour here, and dates are listed below:

Pinkshift Fall North American Tour poster

10/20 – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar
10/21 – Washington, DC – Songbyrd 
10/22 – Pittsburgh, PA  – Mr. Roboto Project 
10/23 – Cleveland, OH – Mahall’s 
10/25 – Detroit, MI – El Club
10/26 – Chicago, IL – Cobra Lounge 
10/27 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
10/29 – Denver, CO – Lost Lake 
10/30 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court 
11/01 – Seattle, WA –  Barboza 
11/02 – Portland, OR – Mission Theater 
11/04 – San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill 
11/05 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echo 
11/06 – Phoenix, AZ – Valley Bar 
11/08 – Dallas, TX – Ruins 
11/09 – Austin, TX – Empire Control Room 
11/11 – Orlando, FL – Will’s Pub 
11/13 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade 
11/14 – Nashville, TN – Drkmttr Collective 
11/15 – Charlotte, NC – The Milestone Club 
11/17 – Brooklyn, NY – Elsewhere (Zone One) 
11/18 – Boston, MA –  Brighton Music Hall

Pinkshift’s tour coincides with the release of their debut album, Love Me Forever, out on October 21 via Hopeless Records — preorders for the album are available here. Two heart-pounding, energetic singles from the album, “nothing (in my head)” and “i’m not crying you’re crying,” have released already, and exemplify the best of what Pinkshift have to offer as POC in an unapologetically punk space — heartfelt vocals, visceral lyrics and inventive arrangements. As Kumar says of the band’s diverse background and raw style as an influence on individuals like themselves:

“I feel like we can actually do something with our music … Before, it felt almost selfish to be in a band, because we were all going to do different jobs that were probably going to f***ing help people. But now, I feel we can make people feel empowered to be themselves and express themselves. Even if it’s ugly, because sometimes anger is self-care – especially when you’re faced with all these systems that are just always trying to f***ing kill you.”

With the rise of Pinkshift in the punk and general rock sphere, listeners of all backgrounds can finally see themselves up on stage or hear themselves in songs that they would have never experienced before — showing that there’s more than one way to soar within music. Be sure to check out the tour and album info for Pinkshift’s latest ventures above, and take a listen to their newest singles, “nothing (in my head)” and “i’m not crying you’re crying,” below!

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