Børns at Koko
Børns is the nom de plume of Michigan-born Garrett Borns. He’s known for his catchy pop hooks driven by falsettos, and tonight’s show is a clear indication of why he is a hit with fans.
After a stalled start, the singer-songwriter appears with his band, in a bubblegum-pink shirt and trousers, looking like a young Mick Jagger. God Save Our Young Blood, taken from the recent album, Blue Madonna (2018), is complete with romanticised idyllic lyrics, though missing Lana Del Rey’s crooning backing vocals. He rolls straight into American Money (Dopamine 2015), with fans singing the chorus earnestly as Børns extends the microphone out. Holy Ghost reflects the title of the album, saccharine and highly danceable, the electronic pads, drums and guitar building up to an ecstasy-fuelled finish, while Past Lives befits coming-of-age films. Børns sings: “Our love is deeper than the oceans” – the soft vocals and high melodies are reminiscent of Jeff Buckley, a compliment to any musician.
The artist takes a step back, slowing the pace with 10,000 Emerald Pools, from 2014 EP Candy, summery and chilled, a nod to indie bands in recent years; whereas We Don’t Care seems to be inspired by 1960s rock‘n‘roll, namely The Beatles and Rolling Stones, the electric guitar licks sitar-like. Seeing Stars has the singer-songwriter performing solely with his guitar, just as confident when a full band backs him. Supernatural follows this, evoking pop sensation Justin Timberlake, the jumping composition working well live. Børns’s energy is infectious – he is running up and down steps and across the stage. With his high-pitched falsettos and entertaining hooks, his performance produces memories of jazz-funk band Jamiroquai. Tension (Interlude) is rhythmically like Madonna’s 1983 dance pop classic Holiday, so it’s a pleasant surprise when Børns blends his song effortlessly, perfectly capturing carefree summer vibes, an homage to the Queen of Pop, and a definite highlight.
Proving again that he can deliver a range of strong pop hits with Man, as well as tracks with a laid-back tempo, like that of Blue Madonna, the multi-instrumentalist returns with upbeat Dopamine – easily a party hit – then circles back to mellow roots with Sweet Dreams.
Clouds is a stripped-back version of the track, with Børns on electric guitar; the audience fall into a quieter lull, only to be broken out of it by arguably the most well-known and energetic song of the set, Electric Love, a rollicking tune ending the night on a high. Børns’s concert tonight shows him in his element, a natural on stage. The fact that, like most artists, his material is a fusion of other musicians and styles is what makes his performances both eclectic and highly enjoyable.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information and future events visit Børns’s website here.
Watch the video for I Don’t Want U Back here: