Garrett Clark Borns (a.k.a. BØRNS) creates dreamily timeless music that sounds as if it were drawn, like water from a well, out of the collective unconscious. It’s a talent that could be a generational thing.
Both Lana Del Rey and HAIM are fellow millennials, and they, too, are brilliant at making songs that seem to exist out of time. And like both of them, BØRNS achieves this uncanny effect by blending stylistic touches from vastly different eras and genres.
He established this approach on his first two hits: “10,000 Emerald Pools” and “Electric Love.” Both released in 2015, they fold ’70s glam-rock confection and Beatles-esque songcraft into ’80s R&B—he’s definitely a big Prince fan—and digital-age electro-pop. Not only are they intoxicating, they’re also deeply confident sounding—as is the musician’s accompanying debut album, Dopamine.
The young and talented Michigander (who relocated to Los Angeles in 2013) may have been barely in his 20s when recording the album, yet its meticulously layered details and overall sonic richness reflect the fact that he was already an experienced musician and composer, one who spent the bulk of his youth studying classical music and jazz while playing in a string of bands.
BØRNS took three years to complete a follow-up, and it shows. Opening with “God Save Our Young Blood,” which features guest vocals from the like-minded Del Rey, 2018’s Blue Madonna lets the candy-coated-pop elements of Dopamine slip away to reveal a decidedly more cosmic expression of a vision that will only deepen and expand as the artist evolves.