we analysed børns’ dreams and decided that he’s enlightened

Off the back of a Lana del Rey collaboration and on the cusp of releasing a new album, the electro-pop prince tells us all about his elevator dreams. We tell him he’s an elevated being.

by Georgie Wright
10 January 2018, 1:46pm

“Man, this is getting really deep for 10am. My brain still isn’t on.” It might be 10am in LA, where electro pop prince BØRNS lives, sleeps and makes ear-naggingly catchy tunes, but it’s 6pm at i-D HQ in London and after a hard day’s chugging the content train we are ready to get deep. Really deep. Analysing BØRNS’s recurring dream in which he’s in an elevator that keeps going up and up and up until it smashes through the roof deep. Well, elevated is probably more accurate.

Why are we analysing his dreams? To be perfectly honest it’s because his last solo single was called Sweet Dreams. Yet as self-fulfilling prophecies tend to manifest, it quite an apt angle for the musician, whose songs drip with his lullaby-esque falsetto and who, quite frankly, is a bit of a dreamboat himself. Then there’s his latest music video for Faded Heart -- a pounding tune that sounds like a soundtrack to that frantic ten minutes of trying to find your keys amidst your foot high floordrobe when you’re already twenty minutes late. In a good way. The visual accompaniment is a surrealist’s wet dream -- there’s goldfish in the sink, literal skeletons in the closet and hyperreal sunsets superimposed on stationary green screens for him to pretend drive off into. “I've been reading up on our friend Salvador Dali quite a lot,” he explains.

Photography Conor Franta

Aurally, BØRNS’ back catalogue traces a similarly multi-coloured landscape. His debut album, Dopamine, was a concoction of glam rock guitar riffs mixed with a bit of MGMT-esque psych pop, all iced with BØRNS' soothingly melodic vocals -- which have just enough whine to mitigate the saccharine. He’s toured with Charli XCX and Bleachers, and Taylor Swift Instagrammed a shot of his track Electric Love and called it an “instant classic” -- say what you will about her politics (or lack thereof), the woman knows a good a pop song. He refers to Gucci’s Alessandro Michele as his “guardian angel,” and is walking, singing, Sia-esque dancing evidence that Harry Styles doesn’t have the monopoly on floppy haired smizes donning a Gucci suit with aplomb.

But we’re not here to talk about his old album, because he’s on the precipice of releasing a new one -- Blue Madonna -- in two days. “I had this manifesto when I started the record of what I wanted it to sound like,” he says. Which was? “I was listening to some of my favourite pop records from Elton John and George Harrison and the Beach Boys, and really looking at how they put records together, because I always thought that they created such great bodies of work,” he elaborates. “I wanted to do something that had a lot of layers and a lot of movements, kind of orchestrally in a way. And key changes. Things that challenge your ear a little bit, but at the end of the day are still pop songs.”

If his latest collaboration with Lana del Rey is anything to go by, he’s succeeded. God Save Our Young Blood is a slow burning banger, as we’ve come to expect from anything adorned with Lana’s heart encircled signature. Breathy, minimal verses capsize into an endless sea of melancholy, and the chorus kicks with a key change. A key change! Is there anything more satisfying than a key change? And it returns again in the final chorus of the track for a one last flourish. True Bliss.

But enough about the music. It’s not all about the music. Ok, it’s mainly about the music but it’s also about dreams. The sweet dreams of the dreamboat BØRNS, and my newfound career path as a professional dream analyser. Get in line.

Photography Conor Franta

How do you dream? Do you remember them?
I have a really hard time remembering my dreams. It's interesting though -- you can forget your dreams so quickly, but as soon as you're in a recurring dream you know exactly where you are. Whenever I'm on the road and I'm in the bus, in my bunk, it's kind of like an isolation chamber. It's dark and muffled, and there's just the hum of the road and the bus driving. That's when I have the most intense dreams, because there's no external stimulations. And I dream so hard on the bus on tour.

Any that you recall?
I have elevator dreams a lot. I'm not sure what that means. A lot of the time there are moments of being in an elevator and it keeps going, past the top floor, and there's this fear of when's it going to stop.

I have a highly authentic dream dictionary here , so I'm going to read out what it says about elevators and you can report back about how accurate it is. Elevators: to dream that you're ascending in an elevator represents a rise to status and wealth. You may have risen to a higher level of consciousness, and are looking at the world from an elevated viewpoint. If the elevator is moving upwards in an out of control fashion and it crashes through the roof, then it indicates that you are being catapulted to a position of power in which you do not yet know how to deal with. Does that sound right?
Yeah, I think there's definitely elements that I can relate to in that.

What part resonated with you most?
I think maybe the elevated consciousness bit. I'm curious about elevated consciousness and have read some interesting texts on that, from Yogananda and Daoist literature so yeah, I can resonate with that.

Do you meditate?
Yes, I do.

Do you find it helpful?
Yeah. I normally meditate with an instrument. I have a Wurlitzer that I play out my window, and I can just tune out for a while. I let my brain shut off and my fingers go.

Well that sounds like quite an elevated state of being. Any other recurring dreams we can analyse?
I have melodic dreams a lot, where I'm coming up with melodies I've never heard before. I think that's kind of interesting, just writing music in my dreams or singing.

Do you ever remember the music enough to write it out in the real world?
No I don't. They sound really nice in the dreams, but it's really hard to transpose them because I think a lot the time they don't actually make sense.

Ok, well here's the definition: To hear or write a song in your dream indicates that you're looking at things from a spiritual viewpoint. Consider the words to the song that you're dreaming about for additional messages. The lyrics can represent a message from your subconsciousness. So I guess that ties into the elevated perspective thing?
Yeah, dang. It looks like I'm enlightened according to your book.

What's next after higher consciousness -- where can you go from beyond that?
I think you just dematerialise, and turn into a spiritual orb. This glowing thing.

What a great way to set off on your new record. You can just disappear and appear in different countries, you're omnipresent.
That would make touring a lot easier, huh. And it would cut down on a lot of plane costs.

Exactly, which is good for the environment.
Yeah, see, this a very sustainable career path that I'm trying to get on.

Photography Conor Franta
dream analysis
Blue Madonna