After the international attention Broods received after their 2014 debut, “Evergreen”, the New Zealand brother-sister duo return fearlessly and with full-force on their second album, Conscious, released in June. Caleb and Georgia Nott set out to expand their musical palette and succeeded by bringing new music that is refreshingly similar in some ways, yet strikingly different in others, to their first release.
“Conscious” begins with Georgia belting out, “I lose everything so I can sing, I’m free, I’m free,” followed by heavy-hitting, dark synths. As the song progresses into a ballad-like chorus, it is clear that this album is more brave and packed full of power than the first album. The next song, We Had Everything, is similar to a bubbly, pop hit you would hear on the top 40 radio station. It’s actually quite reminiscent of Katy Perry, an interesting switch from the feisty, in-your-face opener, yet shows the broad range Broods takes on this album. Broadening this range even further is the third track, Are You Home, as it brings in darker, moodier themes, a racing drumbeat, and a spacey beat.
Heartlines, co-written with Lorde, is instantly loveable, filled with airy vocals and an incredibly catchy chorus. However, Lorde’s influence is almost too apparent. The song actually sounds so reminiscent of Lorde’s hit Pure Heroine, that it’s almost hard to believe that it isn’t a Lorde song. “Conscious” features a second collaboration, Freak of Nature, this time working with Tove Lo. The two women’s contrasting vocals complement each other flawlessly, creating a chilling, beautiful, and dramatic duet. This track truly spoke to me and stuck out from the rest of the album. The blending of layered beats and alluring vocals make this song my favorite on the album.
As “Conscious” progresses, tracks like Recovery and Full Blown Love with flourishing synths and pop-esque choruses contrast the minimal beats and vocal focus of Worth the Fight and Bedroom Door. The title track, Conscious, ends the album and brings it full-circle as it embodies a similar daring feistiness as Free.
As a whole, “Conscious”, really is an album of growth for Broods. While staying true to their sound, the duo also expanded into a moodier, darker, and more powerful realm of music. With moments of unapologetic confidence to moments of raw emotion, Broods has created an album that is so much more than your typical easy-to-dance-to electro pop album. Although the album still has a few familiar sounding, radio-ready bangers, it remains unique thanks to Georgia’s compelling vocals and a diverse collection of dreamy beats. Overall, I give this album a 9/10, and would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes Purity Ring, Sylvan Esso, Aurora and of course Lorde or Ellie Goulding.