If you’re sitting here reading this and have no clue who BØRNS is (A band? A singer? An elaborate choir ensemble?), have no fear, for I am here. If you managed to get through that sick rhyme and are still here, allow me to give you the low down on BØRNS.
Born in Michigan 23 years ago, Garrett Borns started his musical career as a teen, excelling on all different musical instruments. Nowadays, the artist using the stage name BØRNS focuses on falsetto-driven dreamy dance-inducing songs. You may have heard some of his singles making their way around the radio circuit, namely “Electric Love” and “10,000 Emerald Pools.” They too are infused with dream-like sounds, no doubt shaped by the California vibes BØRNS was exposed to as he was recording his album. Based off of the contagious success the singer has experienced with his singles, there was no doubt that his debut album was going to be full of similarly catchy songs. But don’t think of BØRNS as merely an industry-manufactured indie pop artist— his elegant voice keeps listeners on their toes as the singer infuses standard pop melodies with a confident falsetto-fronted vocal range.
Now, I may be slightly biased, but BØRNS’ debut album Dopamine is unquestionably 40 minutes of oh so sweet indie pop perfection. Released a little over a week ago, I gloriously stumbled upon it when browsing through Spotify’s new release section. BØRNS described the songs as love songs, and while I haven’t yet had the time to analyze the romanticism in the lyrics, his voice definitely lends itself to a romantic and moody atmosphere. My first thought was to write comprehensive reviews on all the songs – there are only 11 after all – but I’ll spare you, dear reader, and give an overview of my favourites instead.
1. “Past Lives”
This one jumped out at me from the get-go. BØRNS has a little bit of everything in this track. He starts off by harmonizing with that falsetto voice, and around the minute mark, he introduces some rad 80s-infused electronic beats that will no doubt have you swaying your body. The lyrics are so catchy that you’ll be singing along to the chorus after just your first listen.
This one is a little bit slower than the song above. My absolute favourite part of the album are those “oh oh ohs” around the halfway point (and around the beginning and the end). Hot damn, I’m tempted to repeat those few seconds every time I listen to the song.
This one begins sounding like something so very much Florence Welch influenced. I’m a slave again to those harmonies that carry the chorus – SO GOOD!
This album is perfect for BØRNS veterans and newbies alike – he’s got the energetic singles that catapulted him to indie fame for newbies, and the range in emotion and speeds for those looking for a little more from the otherworldly musician. If anything, the album is a delight to listen to. It’ll put a bit more pep in your step, pump you up after a full day at the library, and lift your spirits after a long day on campus.
Alexandra Kopij, Music Editor
Image: Spin Magazine