[Photo Credit: Annie Brinich]
In case you haven't been paying attention, L.A.-based artist BØRNS
has been slowly releasing new music since his album Dopamine
made a splash in the pop scene in 2015. That album, which earned praise from both Prince and Taylor Swift, was an indie sensation, introducing thousands of new fans to the sweet, androgynous vocals of Michigan-born (ha) Garrett Borns. For anyone not acquainted with BØRNS, you might recognize his hits "Electric Love" or "10,000 Emerald Pools," which was featured in a Chrysler commercial a few years ago. If you're like me, you're not ashamed to admit that you learned about BØRNS because you heard his song via said Chrysler commercial, googled him, then bought his album, which I don't think was the intended purpose of that advertisement.
Since releasing Dopamine
two years ago, BØRNS has dropped a decent number of singles: he gave two of them, "Sweet Dreams" and "Faded Heart", stage time last Saturday when he played at Brooklyn's own Rough Trade. If you're headed to a BØRNS show in the near future (or thinking about purchasing a ticket)--never fear: he played the good stuff from his first two albums as well, and treated the crowd to some banter between songs, mentioning his appreciation for the lyrics of one Cardi B's hit song "Bodak Yellow", telling the audience "I don't dance now, I make money moves," of his inability to move around the stage.
Which isn't to say that BØRNS wasn't giving the crowd a show. His outfit in itself was enough to indicate that Garrett Borns is person who likes a little showmanship. Wearing black suit pants and a matching jacket with rhinestone-encrusted sleeves (nothing underneath), the musician was channeling heavy Prince and Jimi Hendrix, especially when he picked up his ivory electric guitar for a few songs, prompting someone in the audience to yell, "Take your tits out!" and later, "I love you Garrett!"
This is the dude who landed a partnership with designer fashion label Gucci after wearing one of their ensembles during a performance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in 2015. That's the kind of sex appeal Garrett Borns delivers onstage: powerful enough to get the attention of one of the most famous luxury brands in the world.
Besides, he really can sing: those high notes in "Electric Love" are no joke. His band, which was, refreshingly, about 50% female, kept up with him but didn't drown him out, and the crowd could not have been more seduced. The 2015 hit was his closing number, though he came back for an encore less than a minute after the last song.
BØRNS is on tour until mid-February of next year. He's headed to L.A. for the next few days before hitting Europe for all of November, then coming back for more U.S. shows from December to February.