By: Sun NoorBørns made his return with the release of his sophomore record, Blue Madonna on January 12th. This dates approximately three years since his blissful and guitar-driven, psychedelic debut Dopamine surfaced.
The singer starting developing ideas for his new record after the culmination of what appeared to be two years of consecutive touring. Børns mentions drawing inspiration from the orchestration of Brian Wilson and his take on pop songs. As well, deconstructing many of his favourite Beach Boys and George Harrison songs while learning different chord progressions was another key element during the recording process. The concept of Blue Madonna was derived from constantly being exposed to the image of the Lady of Guadalupe around his neighbourhood, which is quite interesting.
The notion of experimentation is quite prominent in Blue Madonna, the artist explores new directions in pop music with the use of a wide range of instrumentation. The album also consists of less heavy synths and prominent guitar riffs. Børns also collaborated with songstress Lana Del Rey on this record. She features on the first track, “God Save Our Young Blood,” as well as the title track. Both of their voices compliment each other quite well. The trip hop influence is also quite notable in songs such as Opening track, “I Don’t Want U Back” and “Second Night of Summer.” The singer experiments with the use of instruments such as the theremin, which mimics a higher range of vocals in “Supernatural.” The layered vocals and harmonies in most songs also flow together nicely. Most songs such as “Man” appear to be highly syncopated songs, making the record flow nicely together. My favourite track off the album is “Tension.” Despite it being simply just a one and a half minute interlude, the track was my most replayed during my initial listen. I really enjoy the layering of his vocals and how the track starts of fairly quiet as though it’s playing in another room before building up to a smooth first verse. The fact that the song ends in the same manner is equally as pleasant sonically. However, I did have to give Blue Madonna a few spins before really appreciating it instantly like I did for Dopamine.
Click here to download or stream Blue Madonna.
Here’s a clip of Børns performing “Iceberg” in Montreal.