Album Review: Broods – ‘Conscious’

I first fell in love with New Zealand indie-pop sibling duo, Broods – comprised of Georgia and Caleb Nott – during a massive blizzard in early 2015. Holed up in my Brooklyn apartment, I fired up Spotify and fell madly in love with their 2014 debut, Evergreen. Since then, it’s been a rocky road for me personally and their music has been there through every high and low while even being brought to life as they mesmerized me with a killer live show in March 2015 at NY’s Irving Plaza – a rather spiritual experience, I must say.

Evergreen felt like a romantic record and while their sophomore effort, Conscious, continues on that theme while expanding on their already synth-heavy, dreamy sound, it’s a record of triumph, hope, growing up and heartache.

Opening track and lead single, “Free,” is a no-holds-barred power anthem of breaking the chains of what holds you back. As Georgia sings, “When I didn’t care was when I did best,” I’m brought right back to when I was starting out with my career; when the pressures of sticking to the status-quo didn’t plague me. Second verse, “All I want is your attention please / Don’t want your opinion or your fee / ‘Cause the freest I have ever been / I had nothing to show or be seen,” continues to play on that notion, making this the perfect opening track for an album of empowerment.

“We Had Everything” is a modern-pop track meant for reminiscing while “Are You Home” comes barreling in with a bigger sound for the duo while Georgia questions the motives of a current love interested in another woman.

“Heartlines,” co-written with the lovely Lorde, is a romantic girl-grabs-boy-and-they-run-away type track that’s perfect for those weary of starting a new relationship due to past experiences.

If we’ve learned anything, it’s that Broods are going to give us one track on each album that absolutely kills us inside. “Freak Of Nature” featuring Tove Lo is that track for Conscious as “Medicine” was to Evergreen. As the chorus of, “Freak of mother, nature’s game / I could blame her for my brain,” rings out, it’s hard not to recall every insane thing we ever did for love while it all slowly killed us inside.

Tracks like “Hold The Line,” “Recovery” and new buzz track, “Couldn’t Believe,” plays on the theme of unconventional love, which honestly, what isn’t these days? With lines like, “We hid under blankets of ignorance / ‘Cause that was the only time it all made sense,” it’s hard not to start questioning everything when it comes to love but at the end of the day, it’s the choices we make and who we share our lives with that matter.

Album high note is the self-reflective “Evergreen”-esque “Worth The Fight.” As the chorus goes, “I pray I will, I pray I might still be somebody worth the fight,” Nott poignantly shares her insecurities of ever loving again after being emptied.

“Wait for the explosion,” Nott sings in closing title track, “Conscious” and if you thought you figured out what they were about, you were clearly wrong. “All my nightmares feel like real life” is a haunting yet simple description of life’s darker side and with a closer like this one, you’ll be craving for more – which, let’s be honest, is what any great closing track should do. After all, it’s only after the journey that we’re truly conscious.

Conscious is available now here.