After a minute’s ringing, we’re connected with a far-off sounding Børns who croons a, “hey”, down the line.
He’s only in London, preparing for the following day’s sold-out headline slot at Scala. However, the 25-year-old might as well be on another planet with the extra-terrestrial sound he has honed.
“It’s a mixture of the instrumentation and my guitarist plays a lot of atmospheric sounds. When I’m in the studio I like to add layers of something…”, his mind trails off. Børns then adds with a laugh, “Oh, I also try to wear something that will catch the light!”
Indeed, the following evening he saunters on in a light suit, sans shirt, with a glimmer in his eye and begins to “work my showman muscle”. Garrett Borns, the man behind that twinkle, is everything you’d expect from his music. The quirky influences in his work come right from his heart and his hometown. The soaring first single of January 2018’s sophomore album, Blue Madonna, ‘Faded Heart’ is brought to life with one of the most creative music videos you’ll have seen this year.
“I was really fascinated by this original Marie Antoinette theatre in Los Angeles. I went to a few shows there and in one there were these skeletons doing a dance in black light, all glowing, and it kind of fit the theme of mortality I wanted to tell with ‘Faded Heart’.”
It’s an exciting preview to what Blue Madonna is set to sound like. Debut record, Dopamine, won over plaudits across the world in 2015, despite still flying relatively under the radar.
“I haven’t listened to it in a long time but people still enjoy it. Some of the songs have had longevity. It feels good, those are very personal, catchy pop songs I enjoyed making.”
Numbers such as ‘Electric Love’ and ‘Dopamine’ come from the mind of an art school scholar who has, somehow, found a style that is so uniquely his own. It’s more than music too. Take ‘American Money’ for instance, a tangible ballad which Børns intertwines with Gucci’s exclusive looks – the pop star is himself admired by Gucci designer Alessandro Michele.
“I feel like music is just one aspect of the creativity that goes into making something. I was inspired by so many things that go into music like film, fashion and poetry. It all filters through my music.”
In July this year Børns released a video titled, ‘The Search For Lost Sounds’, as a preview of his upcoming record. It’s bizarre and trippy but Garrett re-assures us that’s exactly the point.
“I wanted to make a ‘making the album’ kind of video but I wanted to take it a few steps back before we even set foot in the studio. The world that I’m living in in LA is crazy and surreal. I wanted to portray that and the neighbourhood I’m living in. That’s where my inspiration comes from and it’s also just some of the instruments that made it onto the album. I just kind of wanted it to be an existential journey…”
Just how Blue Madonna is going to sound is still anyone’s guess. The three tracks he has played so far, ‘Faded Heart’, ‘Sweet Dreams’ and ‘I Don’t Want You Back’ are all completely different from each other and from Dopamine too.
“I think I was just in a completely different headspace. I had completely different ways about thinking of song writing, stories and using my voice as an instrument. Those are things I wanted to talk about in the record.”
When pressed on any potential collaborations with close-friend Lana Del Rey or other friends, Børns remains tight lipped when murmuring, “It’s all kind of top secret.”
Whatever Blue Madonna sounds like when it hits platforms in January, there’s no denying that the sound Børns is sprinkling across the planet is glorious. However, by no means is he plotting a rapid rise to stardom. There’s no need: Børns’ music is already floating around the galaxy.