‘My vision was pretty much a stream of consciousness’ BØRNS talks debut LP ‘Dopamine’

BØRNS – With breakthrough tracks such as 10,000 Emerald Pools and Electric Love, 2016 is set to be one of the biggest years yet for the Michigan singer-songwriter. His debut album Dopamine is jam packed with wonderful 70s baselines and romantic lyricism. The album is beautifully inspired by lustful adventures and chemical connections with someone, hence the title of the album “Dopamine”. It’s more or so a tale of unrequited love, and fantasy romance.

But this wasn’t exactly Garrett’s first album. Back in 2012, he released a 7-song album “A Dream Between”, which he admits he hasn’t listened to and would probably never revisit. Dopamine is a reflection of the emotions he was feeling in that period in time but it also showcases his growth and truly discovering his sound. Everything that has happened up to this moment has been quite the tremendous journey for the young star, filled with new experiences. He mentions that after moving to New York he didn’t know where he’d eventually end up and that he’d never lived in a big city before and it was more about breaking out of his comfort zone.

I was lucky enough to catch up with the eclectic singer to chat about his latest album “Dopamine” and the journey to becoming BØRNS.

ABOUT MELBOURNE: “Let’s see – the presents. I just acquired this (kangaroo plushie) and I guess it’ll be my spirit animal for the day, so that’s good. Everyone seems very lovely and inviting. The beer is good, the beer is cold, the oysters are fresh, and the music is flowing. It’s a sunny day. I don’t know it’s summer time and I can’t really complain.”

PRESSURES OF BRINGING ‘DOPAMINE’ TOGETHER: “I guess, yeah there’s was a little bit of pressure that I probably just put onto myself mainly because it was a really quick turn around. Trying to finish the album pretty quickly so I can get on the road. The tour schedule and the recording schedule were already lined up like dominos and once you gave it the flick, we got to finish the album and go on tour… It didn’t even stop. So yeah, it was a fast deadline. But you know, I’m here, hanging out.”

MOVING TO NEW YORK: “I didn’t move to New York thinking I was going to stay there forever. I just moved there because it was out of my comfort zone. I’ve never lived in a big city and I like, well got to start somewhere and just jump into it. I happen to live closer to New York because I grew up in Michigan and yeah; I just knew it’d be a journey. I didn’t know where I’d end up.”

TRENDING VS AUTHENTIC: “Um, that’s an interesting question. Not really to be honest. I don’t really pay attention to… I mean that’s not true. I do pay attention to what’s on the radio right now and everything but I guess I don’t really bring that intention into the studio.

You have to think about it – the music that’s on the radio was made months or maybe a year ago. That was a thought then. I want to be able to put out my thoughts and how I’m feeling in that current moment hoping that a few months down the line people will pick them up and enjoy them as a new sound. I don’t know. I guess I’m influenced by old music and new music. I’m sure I’m influenced by what’s on the radio, but totally sublimely, you know? But not very consciously.”


NEW EXPERIECES AND OPPORTUNITIES: “We played Falls Festival jumping around and we played the show in Victoria. I ended up meeting the women that puts on the festival and she was like, hey we just got a spot opened up on the main stage tonight, it’s like New Years Eve and she was like, do you want to play? I’m like sure, why not, of course! Yeah what else would I do on New Years Eve? So we ended up playing that show and that was really fun. It’s nice being able to go with the flow like that and take opportunities as they come, super spontaneously.”

REVISTING OLD MUSIC: “I don’t know, I haven’t even listened to stuff I put out a long time ago. I just feel like I was in such a different headspace then. I have a hard time listening to past work because it gives me heebie jeebies and yeah cringing. Plus, I don’t want; I always just want to keep making new things. It’s like a weird, I don’t know, egotistically thing I guess. I don’t know. I don’t want to know what I did a long time ago. I just want to keep making new shit. And my memory, I just keep forgetting so it’s fine.”


VISION FOR THE ALBUM: “My vision was pretty much a stream of consciousness, I guess. It wasn’t really pre-meditated, which is how I like kind of doing it. I mean, pre-meditated in a way that I was gathering words, phrases, melodies, and ideas, kind of just on my cellular device. Once I got into the studio I would kind of take bits and pieces of ideas that I might have had just randomly. Then everything was kind of just born in the studio. The vision kind of unfolded naturally.

I was so close to it, it wasn’t till recently that I could actually step away from it and look at it as a body of work. Otherwise I’d be too close to it… Like hearing the songs over and over again, you don’t even; you’re like is this even good. Playing them live you also get different personalities I guess, the songs themselves as they change overtime. ”

AUDIENCE IMPACT: Yeah it’s always interesting what the audiences pick up on. There’s somethings that I leave out on the live versions and I’ve heard audiences pick them up and sing them while we’re playing them. I’m like woah! Like echoes and background vocals that I don’t include. That’s good attention to detail.