Garrett Clark Borns — aka BØRNS — catapulted himself into the stratosphere seemingly from nowhere, with the release of debut album Dopamine. On his sophomore effort, Blue Madonna, Borns dives further into the deep glitz-rock dreamscape that defined his singular sound from the start.
Save for a feature from Lana Del Rey, the album, released on Interscope Records, sees Borns occupy center stage. Opening track “God Save Our Young Blood” is a pointed entrance into the journey known as youthful salvation. “Climbed up the tree of life,” sings Borns, undoubtedly there are times when the facade of youth becomes a bit overdrawn. “Kicked out of paradise” he continues, the effort is welcome regardless its simplistic lyrical approach. The album’s kick off track sees two of glam-pop’s most forthright purveyors synthesize their artistic prowess successfully. The project plays through in its entirety fairly quickly, too, with “Man,” the album’s longest, clocking in at a modest 3:57, that provides fans with an easy entry.
Aside from a few notable pitfalls, the project’s central focus around the thematic concept of disillusioned youth simultaneously nods to a variety of influences ranging from Bowie to Tame Impala‘s Kevin Parker to Beyoncé herself. BØRN’s latest project is an eager step forward and, for all its imperfections: a welcome one.
Chicago-based Louis The Child, comprised of Robby Hauldren and Freddy Kennett, have released their second collaboration with female vocalist Ashe, “Right To It,” Ashe last lent her voice to the self-proclaimed “music that makes you happy” production duo for their jazzy single “World On Fire,” which was released on their acclaimed Love Is Alive EP.
“Right To It” veers towards the experimental side of pop, and fits swimmingly with LTC’s prominently lighthearted discography. The song keeps summer alive, radiating a tropical sensation in its lush drums, shakers, and lyrics: “We can get down to it. Mix some vodka with some ‘OJ.”
Gryffin is the latest to put his spin on “Feel It Still,” originally performed by Portugal. The Man. Gryffin’s decision to take on an unconventional remix target should come as now surprise as it was his highly regarded remixes of tracks by illustrious acts like Maroon 5 and Tove Lo in 2015 that broke him into the scene, before the release of his debut single “Heading Home,” in 2016.
Gryffin keeps his sound design bright and spirited, as usual, in his version of the smash-hit: a clear contrast to the Zhu‘s characteristically hazy, enigmatic rendition of the track. Gryffin’s dynamic, sped-up guitar pluck matched with the colorful future bass reverb is a fresh, rousing approach to the to the playfully infectious original.
Everyone from professional sports teams to Paul McCartney have taken on the #Mannequin Challenge, the most recent and wide-spread viral sensation since the likes of the Harlem Shake and the Ice Bucket Challenge. Some of the most successful takes on the challenge have been delivered by several of the biggest names in electronic music, as the videos capture massive crowds of enthralled fans posing with their beloved artist while Rae Sremmurd‘s “Black Beatles” plays out.
However, Interscope Records, the label that co-released “Black Beatles” alongside EarDrummer Records, has arguably completed the best Mannequin Challenge to date. Set in what could be considered the wildest office ever, the video depicts an entire floor of Interscope employees posing in lavish positions, doing everything from sipping champagne to playing beer pong and throwing a football. As if the outlandish props, headstands, and hilarious scenes of debauchery aren’t enough, Interscope tapped into its creative side by using invisible string to make it look like dollar bills, champagne corks, and a slew of other objects are levitating in thin air.
Interscope released the video in celebration of “Black Beatles” overtaking The Chainsmoker’s “Closer” as the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and it seems safe to say the visual definitely does the track justice. Interscope has set an extremely high bar for anyone who attempts to dethrone it as the unofficial Mannequin Challenge winner, making it all the more exciting to see what someone can think of next.
Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles” came out on Interscope Records, and once the track hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, the label felt it was time to do a Mannequin Challenge of their own; and holy shit… y’all can stop trying now.
This video from the label team went all out for their challenge, going so far as stringing up dollar bills with fishing wire and suspending popped champagne corks in the air, not to mention using basically their entire staff for the stunt. Most challenges only last about 25 seconds until the bass drops in the track, but Interscope’s is so detailed and involved that it takes two and a half minutes.