Candy (EP)


Interscope, 2014

REVIEW BY: Melanie Love


It’s the dog days of summer, and what better way to celebrate than with a sparkly glam pop release out of Los Angeles? Truth be told, this EP actually came out last fall and its creator, 23-year-old Garrett Borns, is originally from Michigan. But this small batch of effervescent tunes is quintessential summer music.

In the beginning of his career, Borns moved to Los Angeles, lived in a tree house while writing this EP, and re-christened himself Børns  (Danish for “children” because as he told Rolling Stone, his music will “rebirth you as your inner child and your primal lover”). It’s a quirky origin story, which fits his shimmering, glamorous sound well. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Candy is undoubtedly pure pop, but it’s crammed full of as much energy and influences as fourteen minutes can hold. The Børns  sound is reminiscent of MIKA’s spunkiness, the harmonies of Electric Light Orchestra, and the sweeping scope of Queen.

Seriously – opener “Electric Love” is like the modern-day sequel to “You’re My Best Friend,” sweet in sentiment, positively lush in instrumentation, and instantly stuck in your head. “Baby, you’re like lightning in a bottle / I can’t let you go now that I’ve got it / All I need is to be struck by your electric love,” BØRNS croons over a curvy guitar line as the harmonies swoon behind him. It’s a charming intro, and sets the pace well for lead single “10,000 Emerald Pools,” which dials back the pep for a more languorous but every bit as pretty love song. The guitars are thicker and more ambient as Børns  moves back and forth between a crystalline falsetto and the more full-throated chorus. He establishes himself as a commanding frontman on this disc, full of energy and exuberance as he gallivants his way through his creamy pop confections.

Meanwhile, “Past Lives” is like two flavors of candy in one (though both are equally sweet): it begins with just a spare, layered falsetto vocal, but just a minute later, Børns  has flipped the script entirely. His voice deepens, the bubbly synths kick in, and the track becomes a funky ode to destiny, true love lived throughout decades. But it’s on “Seeing Stars” that he swings for the pop fences; it’s probably the catchiest moment to be found here, giving “Electric Love” a run for its money with a soaring chorus and infectiously joyful lyrics.

Candy is a totally apt name for this EP; listening to these four songs is like eating a handful of milk chocolate – silky smooth and totally tasty. However, as addictive as these tracks are, I’m eager to see if Børns has even more angles to his gorgeous pop sound when he releases a full-length album. Some nougat or dark chocolate perhaps?

Rating: A-

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