Broods – Conscious
Joining us from New Zealand’s southern island, Broods came to international attention with the release of their first studio album Evergreen in late 2014. The outfit is comprised of brother-sister duo Caleb and Georgia Nott, who’ve thus far made names for themselves oscillating the dimensions of modern pop music, pushing and pulling at the perimeters of the indie pop genre with a distinctive electro flair. Evergreen went on to top the New Zealand charts and attained top-five status in Australia, as well as making considerable waves in the States. Consequently, Broods have, it seems, felt the pressure to ensure their sophomore album is another smash hit, and Conscious unfortunately bears the insecurities of a band who were not quite ready to be pulled out of the lab and into the limelight.
The first two offerings on the tracklist are likely the most damning examples of this: Free and We Had Everything evidence an aggressive territorial push out of the gig spaces and into the stadiums. Producer Joel Little (of Lorde and Ellie Goulding fame) has given Broods the same star-studded treatment that bears the hallmarks of the anthem chart-toppers of our times, however the other influences present in the album tend to drown out Broods’ quieter and more considered sensibilities. The tracks boom with synth and choral hooks that do not so much as satirise or experiment with current pop trends as simply ape them; Heartlines – co-written by Lorde – sounds like it could have been lifted from one of the guest singer’s own albums.
When the album gets its more derivative “singles” out of the way, there’s a lot to appreciate in the quieter and more reflective tracks in the set. All of Your Glory gives Georgia’s careful and delicate vocals a chance to step out from behind the veil of Little’s producers chair and it works wonderfully. Bedroom Door gives a lovely, lilting end to an album that should have had more space in its listing for other songs like it.
There really is nothing offensive in the record; even when obscured by bigger influences, Broods prove more than capable of playing the part of another international chart topper. It is simply a shame that the young band seem to lack confidence in their own product, choosing to have other established success stories lead them to international shores rather than cultivate the intimate soundscapes that set them apart.
Conscious is released on 24th June 2016, further information or to order the album visit here.
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