Fri Oct 26 2018

8:00 PM (Doors 7:00 PM)

The Van Buren

401 West Van Buren Street Phoenix, AZ 85003


Ages 13+

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BØRNS has partnered with PLUS1 so that $1 from every ticket will go to support organizations working towards a cleaner environment through research, awareness, and advocacy.

This event is 13+ (12 & under admitted w/parent or legal guardian)


  • Sorry, there are currently no tickets available through TicketWeb.



    The second full-length from BØRNS, Blue Madonna, is proof of the strange magic that can be made from embracing
    instinct and wonder. In creating the album, singer/songwriter Garrett Borns found his curiosity sparked by sonic
    phenomena of all kinds: impromptu recordings of nocturnal creatures near his parents’ house in Michigan, early-’60s
    AM pop, Brian Wilson’s teenage symphonies to God, the mariachi music constantly echoing through his former L.A.
    neighborhood. As on his debut album Dopamine—a 2015 release featuring the platinum-selling breakthrough single
    “Electric Love”—BØRNS transforms his kaleidoscopic fascinations into dreamlike pop music that bears a classic
    sensibility but ultimately feels like some glorious future.
    Lavishly textured and stylistically unpredictable, drenched in sublime melody and shimmying grooves, Blue Madonna
    again reveals BØRNS’s limitless originality (a gift once recognized by Prince, who praised “Electric Love” in one of his final
    interviews, stating “I like that you can’t tell what it’s inspired by”). In bringing the album to life, BØRNS reunited with
    Dopamine producer Tommy English (K.Flay, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness) and sculpted a more expansive,
    ornately arranged sound than he’d ever attempted before.
    “For this record I really wanted to push myself with the songwriting and production, and avoid that thing of trying to nail
    the songs into a certain structure,” says BØRNS. “I wanted to write a little more orchestrally, with different movements
    and key changes, kind of like the Beach Boys did.”
    On the album-opening “God Save Our Young Blood,” Blue Madonna brings that symphonic grandeur to a delicately
    sprawling anthem driven by BØRNS’s ethereal vocal work. With its plush beats and sunlit harmonies, the track unfolds in
    lyrics both enchanted and unnerving (“Baptized in blue skies/Roll the window down, reach out/Feel around for new
    life”). “I’d been looking at these different translations of the story of the Garden of Eden,” says BØRNS, “and I was
    thinking about the idea of how we kind of kicked ourselves out of paradise, and how that relates to the current state of
    humanity and the earth. The song is like a plea to nature or to love: the thing that’s going to bring us together, but also
    eventually destroy us.”
    An album built on brilliant contrast, Blue Madonna takes its title from a stripped-back, sensually charged slow jam
    whose lyrics betray a childlike sweetness (“She glides in a swan dive/Cooler than a strawberry shake”). “To me the idea
    of Blue Madonna represents innocence and purity and virginity, but there’s also an element of sadness,” says BØRNS. “I
    think that’s a main theme of the album: trying to hold onto that innocence.”
    With its effusive rhythms and soaring vocals, “Man” embodies another theme central to Blue Madonna. “‘Man’ is about
    feeling almost immortal but also really vulnerable—the idea that even if you have everything in the world and you feel
    like you’re on top of some mountain, you’re still going to get your best night’s sleep in the lowlands with someone you
    adore,” says BØRNS. “The concept of immortality is something that I thought a lot about while touring,” he adds.
    “Sometimes on the road you feel almost godlike, and other times you just feel completely worn out and beat down.”
    Throughout Blue Madonna, BØRNS endlessly shows his supreme ability to take his infatuations in exhilarating directions.
    Equally influenced by glam rock, doo-wop, and Detroit proto-punk, lead single “Faded Heart” matches its massive hooks
    and throbbing tempo with flashes of dreamy sleaze (“You and the suede backseat is all I’ll ever need”). On “I Don’t Want
    You Back,” BØRNS conjures a hazy synth-pop luster with the help of a vintage Omnichord, and again proves the agility of
    his imagination. “A while back I found some sexy magazines from the ’80s, and the advertisements were so hilarious and
    amazing,” he says. “There was one thing that stuck out to me, a sound system for your car called the Sparkomatic, so I
    decided to write a Prince-esque song around that. It ended up becoming a breakup song where I figure out that my
    lover’s sneaking around after hearing the other guy’s Sparkomatic through the walls at 4 a.m.—that’s how good that
    sound system is.”

    At turns triumphant and heart-crushing, the synth-heavy “Sweet Dreams” had more earthly origins. “The foundation of
    that song was something I’d recorded on my phone in Michigan, a sample of an owl and all these crickets outside at
    night,” says BØRNS. “The sample was sort of haunting and it put the song in a particular atmosphere, so ‘Sweet Dreams’
    came out of that.” And on “We Don’t Care,” with its post-disco strut and snarling guitar riffs, BØRNS turns in a divinely
    inspired vocal performance. “I wanted to write a song where I was doing my best to channel Roy Orbison,” he says. “He
    had this cool technique where he’d start out singing very low and somberly, and then by the end of the song he’s hitting
    this top note and it’s so intense.”
    Despite his restless inventiveness, BØRNS’s clarity of vision and sophisticated musicality lend Blue Madonna a cohesive
    grace. Growing up in coastal Michigan, he first discovered his penchant for music by figuring out Elton John and Three
    Dog Night melodies on his family’s piano. “There’s chords I remember discovering in middle school that I still integrate
    into my music now,” he points out. “I guess there’s some sort of innate melodic thing that I’ve always tapped into—in a
    way, I feel like I’m always writing the same song over and over. But to me there’s no escaping that: your instincts are
    always going to be the same since you were very small.”
    Soon after moving to L.A. at age 21, BØRNS connected with Tommy English through a mutual friend and started working
    on his 2014 debut EP, Candy. Following the smash success of “Electric Love” (included on both Candy and Dopamine,
    and hailed as an “instant classic” by Taylor Swift), BØRNS has performed at major festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza,
    and Bonnaroo, in addition to headlining a sold-out theater tour in 2016.
    In beginning Blue Madonna, BØRNS had few set intentions beyond an urge to experiment with unorthodox instruments
    (such as the theremin) and to work with composer Steve Weisberg in adding string arrangements to the mix. “The way
    that Tommy and I tend to work is we just create as we go along,” he says. “We try out different things and puzzle-piece
    different ideas together, and then just see what happens from there.” This time around, the two collaborators tested
    out various approaches to pushing their creativity, including “getting up really early and working before our brains were
    awake, to find out what naturally comes out of you when you’re not totally thinking straight,” as BØRNS explains. The
    result of that experiment: “Iceberg,” an intensely hypnotic track that merges its jagged guitar tones with a looped piano
    riff to beautifully eerie effect.
    Looking back on the making of Blue Madonna, BØRNS notes another objective that closely guided the creative process.
    “When we first started working on the record I said to myself, ‘I wanna feel completely exhausted by the end of this,’”
    he says. Many months later, BØRNS realized he’d fulfilled that mission upon heading to San Francisco with English for
    one final round of recording. “Every day for a week we’d wake up and jump into the ocean and then go record all day
    long; we just lived in the studio,” he says. “I remember sitting at this little oyster bar at the end of that week and
    drinking tequila and just being blissfully exhausted, and feeling like, ‘Okay, there we go—that’s all we had.’ I really don’t
    think we could have put any more of ourselves into this music.”

  • Twin Shadow




Fri Oct 26 2018 8:00 PM

(Doors 7:00 PM)

The Van Buren Phoenix AZ
  • Sorry, there are currently no tickets available through TicketWeb.

SOLD OUT Ages 13+

BØRNS has partnered with PLUS1 so that $1 from every ticket will go to support organizations working towards a cleaner environment through research, awareness, and advocacy.

This event is 13+ (12 & under admitted w/parent or legal guardian)