On October 21 Baltimore’s Pinkshift will release their debut album Love Me Forever.
Today they share a new taste of the album via the latest single “in a breath.” The band is known for crafting music that is equal parts pop-punk and 90’s era grunge, and the song – a tender ballad featuring Pinkshift’s Ashrita Kumar at the piano and on vocals – shows another side to them, exposing the powerful vulnerability that drives the band’s creativity behind their usual breakneck melodies. Written by Kumar in 2018 they say:
‘in a breath’ is from my heart. It’s a song I’ve held on to for years. it’s a dive into my core, my greatest hopes, desires, loneliness, traumas, and fears. It’s a song about feeling dissociated from my body and fighting to stay alive despite it. it explores the existence of an impossible reality, contemplates the existence of a god, and contemplates our capacity to love and be loved. It’s about guilt, shame, redemption, and acceptance.
The video for “in a breath” was directed by Sunny Singh (aka hate5six). Fresh off documenting the Rage Against the Machine Reunion, Singh’s first proper-music video is a change of pace from their popular YouTube channel which has gained acclaim documenting the hardcore-scene live. They say:
Capturing the authenticity of a live performance is what I’ve always been drawn to. It’s the space I’m most interested in exploring and refining. It’s also the reason why I’ve turned down every offer to do a choreographed and scripted music video. With ‘in a breath,’ I set out to create something that would allow me to render their live performance into something cinematically organic.
Ashrita’s talent as a vocalist and pianist radiates outward in this song, so I wanted to produce a visually minimalist piece that kept them at the center and instead drew its dynamics from manipulated camera motion. What emerged is an uncut, orbiting shot around them and the piano, the parallax creating a gravitational force between the viewer and Ashrita’s burning sincerity for 287 seconds.
Baltimore-based trio Pinkshift – Ashrita Kumar (vocals, they/them), Paul Vallejo (guitar, he/him), Myron Houngbedji (drums, he/him) – recently announced their long-awaited debut album, Love Me Forever, out October 21 via Hopeless Records.
Pinkshift share a new track entitled “GET OUT” today.
“‘GET OUT’ is an anthem to be utilized to take space where it’s not inherently given to us,” explains Kumar. “It’s a blatant attack against the white supremacist and patriarchal colonizers of our bodies, homes, and ways of life, and it’s an expression of pure and unapologetic rage that stands in defense of our autonomy.’
Pop-punk rising star LØLØ has made a name for herself as a pillar of the genre’s ongoing renaissance, gaining a loyal following on social media and touring with pop-punk titans Newfound Glory and Less than Jake. Today she continues to ride that wave, sharing her addictive new single “u turn me on (but u give me depression)” via Hopeless Records.
LØLØ shares this about the new single:
“I wish I fell in love with an axe murderer – yeah, maybe I’d be dead already. But at least it would be a quick, easy, painless death. Instead, I fell in love with a 6 foot 2, walking-talking pile of toxicity. So instead of being dead, I live in a constant state of purgatory – flip flopping from happiness to sadness. I love him, I hate him. He turns me on. He gives me depression. But most importantly, he helps me write the best songs.”
Pinkshift aren’t an apologetic band. In fact, they’re a heavy, vehemently unapologetic punk band whose songs rail against prejudice and oppression while also examining in great depth the human condition.
The Baltimore-based trio – 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.
Today Pinkshift announce 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 today 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.”
Forming in 2018, Pinkshift have made their mark both in the U.S. and across the pond via a string of critically acclaimed singles which culminated in last year’s self-released Saccharine EP. Today the Baltimore-based band announce their signing to Hopeless Records and share their first bit of music for the label by way of a single “nothing (in my head).”
They share, “‘nothing (in my head)’ is a cry for help. It’s about the feeling of wanting out, wanting a change in scenery, wanting to escape from feeling locked inside, claustrophobic, and overwhelmed. This song is like a hand reaching out to anyone willing to grasp onto it and say they feel the same way. We hope people hear that and feel a little less alone.”
Pinkshift is Ashrita Kumar (vocals), Paul Vallejo (guitar), Myron Houngbedji (drums). The band walk the line between riot grrl, punk rock, and post-hardcore, melting together different musical roots through a common love for angsty rock.
LA-via-Toronto rising star LØLØ has been breathing new life into the pop-punk scene and she doesn’t disappoint with her latest single “debbie downer” (out today) via LA independent label Hopeless Records (Illuminati Hotties, New Found Glory). LØLØ gets a hand from alternative darling Maggie Lindemann on “debbie downer” — a deliciously perverse mockery of the manic pixie dream girl trope.
LØLØ shares this about the new single:
“So there’s this girl, debbie. She‘s got jet black nails to match her hair and the rest of her outfit. She’s a little bit of a mess (but, who isn’t these days?). More often than not, u may find her being a little too drunk at a party, possibly falling over. Maybe she’s a little intense — she tends to over share and talk about things that “normal” people find weird— but that’s just debbie. I’ve heard people say she’s “too aggressive” but I don’t think she means to be. She’s always asked “are you ok?” – which she swears she is. She’s sensitive and emotional, but she’s not sad (most of the time). Sometimes she just feels like she doesn’t really belong. ‘Hi. Nice to meet u. It’s me— debbie downer, and I wrote this song for anyone that’s ever felt a little different or out of place too.'”
The track is accompanied by a charming music video (dir. Jake Johnston) that portrays LØLØ and Maggie as high school outcasts who team up to unite the untouchables – from nerds to goths. Whilst rocking adorable grunge cheerleader outfits, the girls bring another level of energy and story to the track. The video also features cameos from Leah Kate, Alex Porat, Sophie Powers, Jutes, Angela Mazzanti, and Dre Ronayne.
LØLØ shares this about the music video:
“This was one of those songs where while I was writing it, I could really SEE the video. I knew there had to be some emo cheerleaders involved, since we pay homage to Bring it On (one of my favorite movies). ‘debbie downer’ is all not belonging or fitting in, so I thought it would be funny to have cheerleaders cheering in places they really don’t belong— for example, a tennis match, a chess game, or a science club. Working with Jake Johnston was AMAZING. We had originally gotten some treatments from a few people, but when I saw his I knew we had to go with him— he executed my vision perfectly and was so much fun to work with. Maggie also absolutely KILLED IT. Of course she plays the it girl-bad b*tch, because LOOK AT HER. I want her to step on me. She joins the dark side and embraces her debbie-downer-ness of course at the end of the video, because at the end of the day, we are ALL debbie downers.”
Toronto musician LØLØ channels angst, anger, cynicism, depression, all of the FEELS into grunge pop magnetism. Today she releases her 6-track EP overkill via LA independent label Hopeless Records (Illuminati Hotties, New Found Glory, Tigers Jaw). Self-described as “brutally honest and a little unhinged,” LØLØ doesn’t shy away from expressing exactly what’s on her mind. On overkill, she’s distilled her journey over the past few years into an emotional beacon for anyone who’s struggled to keep it all together.
“Take the regular highs and lows of being young and dumb, add in a global pandemic and a heavy dose of social anxiety and you get a seriously unstable LØLØ,” she shares about the record. “Armed with what seemed like an endless well of inspiration, including killing many plants and relationships, falling for people I shouldn’t, etc, I felt lost, lonely and pathetic. When I feel that way, I turn to music – somehow songwriting has become the only type of surgery that can fix me when I’m broken. Instead of dealing with these things like a normal person, I wrote an EP. All I can do now is cross my fingers and hope people understand the twisted pile of wreckage that is my brain.”
On the EP’s focus single “hurt less,” LØLØ’s well-versed in the macabre and makes visceral her pain from a relationship gone wrong. “Fuck with my mind like it’s your job, manipulating me until my heart stops,” she sings over thrashing guitars. There’s rage and agony here, but in the expression of it, ultimately catharsis. The accompanying music video sees LØLØ on the couch tuning into various shows where she’s the star – the weather channel, a cooking show, a magic show, etc – where something goes wrong but all she can do is look on. It captures the out-of-body feeling of only being a spectator to events in life.
Anyone paying attention to illuminati hotties over the past few years will know it’s been a rollercoaster to say the least. Through it all, the band’s fearless leader Sarah Tudzin has risen from the ashes and is about to deliver the band’s most exciting record yet.
Today she is announcing her own brand new label Snack Shack Tracks, in partnership with the Los Angeles-based independent label, Hopeless Records. Releasing her new album on her own label felt like a natural next step after what she had been through previously.
“I’m incredibly stoked to be partnering with Hopeless Records on my own imprint, Snack Shack Tracks!.” Notes Tudzin “With everything that has brought me to where I am, I knew that the next time around I needed to seek support from folks who trusted me – who believed not only in illuminati hotties, but also in myself, and my curative vision as a creator at large. Hopeless is the perfect collaborator for IH and beyond. I am thrilled, grateful, and looking forward to an expansive future for the music that we’re all total nerds about!”
After the success of her debut album, Kiss Yr Frenemies, and coining the term “tenderpunk,” illuminati hotties were on their way to recording and releasing a highly-anticipated sophomore album. However, things with their previous label started to fall apart, and illuminati hotties found themselves stuck in a contract with a label who didn’t have the infrastructure to put out the album the band had been crafting for months. “It felt like any momentum came to a screeching halt. It felt painful to pick up a guitar, to write, to record any loose ends that needed to happen to wrap up the album,” Sarah recalls.
With the emotional turmoil and uncertainty building over the label situation, Sarah turned her focus to a new batch of songs that would become FREE I.H. Funneling all the raw feelings and letting go of any inhibitions, illuminati hotties released the collection of songs, carefully not defined as the “new album.” The critically-acclaimed, fan favorite, release closed the chapter on the label drama, and opened up the band musically to a whole world of possibilities.
Alongside the new label announcement illuminati hotties are also giving fans a sneak peak sharing new music in the form of “MMMOOOAAAAAYAYA” (pronounced MOO!), solidifying the ushering in of a new era for the band.
“The springboard for the ‘MMMOOOAAAAAYAYA’ video pays tribute to the iconic music video for D’angelo’s ‘Untitled (How Does It Feel)’ while demanding space for the subversion of male sexuality and flipping the dynamic of power throughout its three slimey minutes.” Tudzin adds. Though similar at first, illuminati hotties’ version offers a very viscous twist. Halfway through the track, as the angular guitars and driving drum groove dismantle in discord away from the catchy chorus of “mmms,” “ooos, “aaas” and “ya yas” and into the track’s second act, rivulets of goop begin to rain down on Tudzin. The mucous oozes from an unknown source above Tudzin as she croons along casually, unphased and at times, even laughing at the source of it. The video serves as a cautionary reminder to all of those who would like to even think about projecting their bullshit onto her – don’t.