“Everyone’s looking at me weird probably thinking, ‘what is this guy wearing rugby shorts doing in our Western store?’” Caleb Nott joked as he phoned me whilst looking at cowboy hats at a pitstop in Dallas, Texas. He and his sister, Georgia, were in the middle of their first tour in support of their second album, Conscious.
Back in 2014, Broods released their first album, Evergreen, an album that I myself called “everything you could possibly want from a debut.” It was the execution of producer Joel Little’s work, along with Georgia’s delicate vocals and heart-wrenching lyrics, that made it an undeniably impacting piece. So when the duo returned back in June with a stronger and more determined outlook through their single “Free,” it was clear that while their successes with Evergreen weren’t by accident, Conscious was truly who Georgia and Caleb had intended on being.
“We figured out how to do more things on this one,” Caleb explained. “On the first record, I didn’t really know my way around any type of production and this time I did. Doing things more on the side and for other people, I felt more confident jumping in a bit more. Before, it took a long time to explain what we wanted and now we could just do it ourselves.”
That confidence is a direct result of Broods’ growing stage presence and powerful performances. Evergreen was a bedroom album, most effective when consumed intimately and silently for maximum self-reflection and emotional breakdowns. Conscious takes that introvert experience and forces it into the world. Georgia’s lyrics still have this great depth that is beautifully heartbreaking and raw but this time around, the production is amped up and her delicate voice is being pushed and coming out with assertiveness and strength. The vulnerability is gone but the honesty and rawness is highlighted even more — something that bleeds out in their live performance.
While Evergreen remains a capsule for a specific moment in time (it was written over the course of five weeks), Conscious is a culmination of the last two years for Georgia and Caleb. A lot can happen in two years, especially when you’re traveling the world and also trying to maintain some sense of normalcy and keep the flow of creativity constant. The album articulates every emotion one could have possibly felt in a number of various situations. It feels larger because it covers so much more of the human experience and is backed up with more knowledge of the world and the ability to handle it all with maturity. Broods has perfected the cry-dance genre by crafting together massive tunes that refuse to lose their depth.
As the album weaves through anthemic songs and powerful ballads, it all reaches its climax on the final track.
“‘Conscious'” was the last song we wrote,” Caleb admitted. “We wrote it two weeks before we had to send out the album. I think it’s my favorite because it’s pretty much 50/50 [50% Georgia, 50% me] of the type of music we want to make. It has really haunting melodies and really dark, heavy production. We had the title [of the album] before we wrote that song but then it just happened to come into the song as we wrote it.”
That word “conscious” is an important one. Broods made an impact that few get to make straight out the gate but they refused to rest on it. Instead they made a conscious choice to learn, to stand up for themselves, and continue to push forward. This is who they are and now we’re all aware of it.