In our Track by Track feature, artists are tasked with sharing the stories behind each song on their latest album. Today, BLACKSTARKIDS take us track by track through their debut album Puppies Forever.
BLACKSTARKIDS have unveiled their debut album, Puppies Forever. Arriving today via Dirty Hit, the 12-track collection melds together hip-hop, pop, and garage rock on singles like “JUNO,” “FIGHT CLUB,” and “ALL COPS ARE BASTARDS.” Stream it below.
Taking cues from inspirations like the Beastie Boys, N*E*R*D, and Nirvana, the Kansas City-bred trio is ready to introduce their signature sound to the masses with the LP, especially considering the long wait the band has endured waiting to release it into the world.
“We wrote them almost a year ago now,” Ty Faizon tells Consequence about the dozen cuts that made the tracklist. “The songs are mad old. But they’re like some of the most expressive things we wrote. I feel really good about the album.”
Faizon’s bandmate Deiondre also teases that the BLACKSTARKIDS are already looking ahead to their next chapter, particularly after spending time on the road opening for both Glass Animals and Grouplove.
“I would say each of the albums are about a real specific period in time of our lives, and it’s the same thing for Puppies,” he says. “This stuff happened a year ago, so by the time people hear an actual full album from us again, we’ll have a lot more to tell.”
For more insight into Puppies Forever, BLACKSTARKIDS have broken down the album in our latest Track by Track interview. Read on for details about each of the record’s songs underneath the stream below.
To start the album, I know we just wanted something that felt like a burst of energy, something that just felt warm. It’s like that feeling that you have, it can be obviously about a romantic partner, but for us, it’s like the friend group that we have. We’re so aligned with each other; we see each other almost every day and we’ve kind of become family to each other. So I think the song really captures that. It’s like that feeling of having everything going right for you, except for that one thing that’s missing — knowing what it is and just wanting to chase that. That was kind of how our life was going when we wrote that, we had a lot of things to be happy about, but there was definitely something missing for all of us. — Ty Faizon
I think the song is about how you can kinda get caught in the routine of your day-to-day, and how you have to break out of the routine and like the monotony of life. We wanted to address some of the problems that we have with ourselves, sort of look in the mirror, breaking out of autopilot, and really taking control of your life. Sonically, that song was very inspired by N*E*R*D and the Beastie Boys. — T.F.
“JUNO” is definitely some of the most vulnerable writing on the album. I wanted to go for something that felt good, that made you feel alive. I feel like there’s power in vulnerability. It’s kind of like the soundtrack to when you’re with the people you love and enjoying your time and not thinking about whatever might be bothering you. It’s a celebration of being with your friends and an escape from those problems that you’re dealing with. — T.F.
So when we were making “PALS,” I was seeing this girl, and she got back with her ex boyfriend. I tried to tell her not to. I tried to get her to break up with her boyfriend. She didn’t. And then then we got that song. — T.F.
For me, it was about being in a relationship and like things are not going well. But in the end, we’re gonna get through whatever problems we have. We’ll be good. We are good. — The Babe Gabe
Once again, very inspired by the Beastie Boys. Also the song “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter” by Nirvana. There’s not really anything in particular this song’s about, we just wanted to make something that would go crazy at the shows. Something that makes you feel quite alive. That was definitely the point of “JIMMY NEUTRON.” It was the first song that we made for the album. I was so depressed when we made that song because of that girl I was seeing. So that song was a good distraction from the stuff that I was dealing with. It was a good way to start off the new era. — T.F.
This song is like when we’re all around each other, just as BLACKSTARKIDS, we kind of feel like we’re the shit, you know? We’re the BLACKSTARKIDS, we boost each other’s confidence. It’s just that energy we have around each other. I feel like we had to have that one song on the album that’s like, “No matter what the problem is, we still know we’re dope as hell, we’re confident, we’re Black, we’re beautiful.” That’s what that moment is. — T.B.G.
“ALL COPS ARE BASTARDS”:
“ALL COPS ARE BASTARDS” is a song that was inspired by the events that happened last year, like the murder of George Floyd. We were attending some of the protests that happened in Kansas City and I guess we were just gauging our responses to what we saw and the relationship between the KCPD and the citizens of Kansas City. We wanted to make a song reflecting our feelings on the situation. As far as the sound, we were definitely inspired by The Beastie Boys and Nirvana. Especially the song I reference in my verse, “Territorial Pissings.” — Deiondre
“PISS DRUNK KIDS”:
We got to spend a couple nights together in some Airbnb to write our album, and it was like the first time we spent the night with each other, like as friends. Because like you guys always come over my house but never stay the night! We just spent a couple days with each other, and some of us were depressed as fuck, so we were like “Let’s just drink. Let’s have our own party.” And it was a fun couple nights. But some of us were down bad. — Deiondre
Yeah, we were. I think my verse on that song is about like, you know, maybe you’re hanging out with one person to try to help distract you from another person, and that’s not cool. Don’t do that. That’s not nice. — T.F.
It was getting cold as fuck outside that night and we hadn’t seen each other in like three weeks. That’s like the longest we’d gone without seeing each other at that point. I was just depressed. We had to make a song that day, but it just wasn’t happening. We weren’t feeling it. We pretty much had the day exactly like in the song, exactly what were talking about. — Deiondre
I think the message of that song is kinda the point of the band in general. What we’re doing is really just speaking on who we are as people. It’s really that simple. We’re not really making some big grand statement, we’re just being ourselves. We’re really just trying to speak our truths because we know that there’s a lot of people who feel similar to the way that we do. It’s kinda like how on the later two albums by The 1975, they have these “call to action” sort of songs. They kinda just want to make you get up and go, songs like “Give Yourself a Try” or “People.” We take a lot of inspiration from songs like that too. — T.F.
“TIME FLIES WHEN YOU’RE HAVING FUN”:
It’s hard to say, but that might be my favorite song on the album, musically. It explores a direction that I’m really inspired by. That outro with Deiondre with the guitar, that was something that came together perfectly. We were going through a lot of turmoil when we made the song. And there was a lot more turmoil in the song after. But that song is like a temporary pause. — T.F.
It’s like a reflection of my life and where I was. Like how I said in the song, I never thought my life would be this cool. This is really my dreams, and with these people, I never thought I’d be here. So it’s just reminding me of our friendship, all the memories for me. — T.B.G.
Yeah, just being grateful for the whole friend group. Obviously the three of us, also our bandmates Jerry P, Jack, Jake Kelly, they’re mentioned in the song, you know, the people who make this band what it is. — T.F.
“I HATE BEING IN LOVE”:
It’s just a mixture of different relationship problems that we’ve gone through. Everybody goes through different relationship problems. I wouldn’t say that it’s about a particular person for me, but more the feeling of like, wanting something to work out. Sometimes you want something to work out and you don’t even know why. Sometimes it’s better to just let the things go. But you have to learn that the hard way sometimes. The song is kind of a reflection of the situation looking like it’s ending, but you really don’t want to give up on it. — T.F.
For me, the phrase “I hate being in love” is like, I just hate the idea of being in love with someone because you never know how it’s going to go. I hate getting emotionally attached. I hate expressing myself. You get really vulnerable with somebody and it’s so scary, but in the end, you realize it’s all worth it. Because this person is awesome. — T.B.G.
It’s also inspired by John Hughes movies. — T.F.
It’s kind of like the last chapter of Puppies. I think the point of the song is like, we don’t have the answers. All I know is that we’re all together as friends, as family, and we’ll be okay. We’ll figure everything out. Because we always do. No matter what the situation is, it’s been very comfortable knowing that we have each other to fall back on. — T.F.