When first asked to write a review for BØRNS second album – Blue Madonna – I had not heard much of his music before. I came across the artist only recently when he released a collaborative single with Lana Del Rey, beautifully titled “God Save Our Young Blood“, earlier in the year.
Now, I have been transported into the kaleidoscopically dreamy world evoked by BØRNS electro-pop culture which is similar to that of Lorde or Lana Del Rey, and I have come out at the other side with another artist to add to my repertoire of go-to singers for a dreamy day.
The philosophical rhetoric and youthfulness of this album is simply awesome. His genre is a hard one to pin down, like the other artists mentioned above – is it alternative, electro, psychedelic dream pop? In fact, it’s all those things – the artist has slipped in this niche which seems to be gaining in popularity, the sort of music that makes you feel like you are hitting some supernatural euphoria.
Garrett Borns, more popularly known as BØRNS, is a 25 year old American singer and songwriter from Grantville, Michigan whose debut album was released in 2015 and has now released his highly anticipated sophomore album. On the album cover we see a unique and rather androgynous figure dressed in what looks like a Gucci suit with tropical fauna and a blue background. The cover is just a little tease of what psychedelia you are about to witness when listening to the album.
The first song on the album is the triumphal “God Save Our Young Blood”, which is also my favourite song on the album. I believe the pairing with Lana Del Rey is perfect and unlike an article I read earlier that stated that the pair were “two dull mirrors looking at each other”, I believe it is much more like the meeting of two great minds.
They both share that blurry, dreamy characteristic and transfer it onto the song to create a gorgeous track. Because they are “spinning and can’t sit still”, they almost have to whisper the words and that’s what makes the song so sensual. The lyrics again tell of a desire for eternal youth, which is a very familiar feeling in today’s society.
Next, we have “Faded Heart” which features many references to space in its opening lyrics. The instrumentation is good, if a little monotonous, and the chorus rings out an ode to a former love.
As we drift through the album we slip deeper into the mindset that BØRNS wants us to end the album in. With songs like “We Don’t Care“, “Sweet Dreams” – with the brilliant lyric “throwing me that she like in not cool enough” embedded into the chorus, “Iceberg“, “I Don’t Want U Back” – which is destined to be a hit.
Then we hit the interlude, “Tension“, which is pretty refreshing and has a contagious effect as it fades in and fades out. Nearing the end of the the album, we are gifted with another track featuring the backing vocals of record label buddy, Lana Del Rey, “Blue Madonna” – from which the album takes its name.
The record ends with the poignant “Bye-Bye Darling“, in which the singer says goodbye to his loves and “the telephone age”. The song is like a little lullaby to say sad goodbye to us too, and we can immediately sympathise with him.
BØRNS’ second record is definitely another high-flying monument in his dreamland and seems to me to be like a bridge between the old of Dopamine – his debut album, and whatever is going to come next. He has brought something to the new year that has been missing: an escape from reality. BØRNS’ Blue Madonna is out now via Interscope Records, purchase it on iTunes here.
Words by Dualtagh McDonnell