Broods on navigating life as 'full-on adults'

By Siena Yates

Kiwi duo Broods have grown up in LA, discovers Siena Yates.
Georgia and Caleb Nott are the brother and sister behind Broods. Photo / Catie Laffoon
Georgia and Caleb Nott are the brother and sister behind Broods. Photo / Catie Laffoon

If Broods' new album sounds different, it's because it is. And so are they.

Caleb and Georgia Nott have grown up a lot since their debut three years ago, and that's changed everything from how they live their lives to how they make their music.

Since starting out, the sibling duo have released a gold-certified album, won five New Zealand Music Awards, toured the world, and moved to Los Angeles to chase the dream further.

Now, they're gearing up to release their second album Conscious, which got its name because of where they're at in life - they've become more self-aware, in terms of knowing what they want, and how to make that happen.

"We've reached a point where we feel like we're in a position where we can say, 'No, actually this is not us, we want do it like this,'" says Georgia.

"Because we've kind of figured out who we are. It does take a while, we were so young when we first started and we still are, but it's nice to kind of figure it out and have each other to make it happen."

As a result, the music's "more true to to us than anything else we've ever written".

Where the first album was about growing up, this one's about navigating life as a "full-on adult" - which, Georgia (21) says, "is weird, because I never thought that I would become an adult, but here I am."

Georgia recently married long-time love Jacob Wieblitz, so the songs are less about falling in love and more about being in love.

"A lot of people sing about falling in love, but being in love and being committed to somebody, there's a whole different ball game of songs you can write, and a lot of the tracks on this album do talk about those experiences you go through when you're in a proper relationship," she says.

The exception is Heartlines, the pair's newly released single that they co-wrote with Lorde, from Caleb's perspective.

"It was pretty much just Caleb telling us about this girl, and me and Ella [Lorde] trying to write lyrics to express how Caleb was feeling," Georgia laughs.

"I'm not very good at talking about those things, so it wasn't very easy," Caleb (23) adds.

Still, the song's taken off and the collaboration with both Lorde and their producer Joel Little is just one example of the perks of leaving New Zealand.

They've been living in LA for a few months now and, as well as connecting with fellow Kiwis also trying to make it in Hollywood, the move's also opened up a lot more doors for them.

The duo have been taking advantage of press opportunities, like appearing on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Conan, and more recently The Late Late Show with James Corden.

"We never would've got to do that in Auckland," Caleb says, adding: "[The Late Late Show] is only about 200m from our house".

Georgia was ecstatic to learn that fans had been petitioning on social media for Broods to appear on Corden's popular segment, Carpool Karaoke.

"I feel like that would be so much fun," she laughs.

"I feel like I would be useless though," adds Caleb, who largely handles production. "Maybe I could beatbox or something?"

However, the fact that Georgia didn't know about it is a sign they've lost touch with their Kiwi fans - they don't have a sense of how huge they've become back home, because "we're still pretty low-key [in LA]".

Their last show in New Zealand was the Auckland City Limits festival, before their new releases started dropping and promo for the new album kicked-off.

Georgia Nott of lead vocalist of Broods performs at the inaugural Auckland City Limits music festival at Western Springs. Photo / Chris Loufte
Georgia Nott of lead vocalist of Broods performs at the inaugural Auckland City Limits music festival at Western Springs. Photo / Chris Loufte

All they know now is they're getting a lot of Snapchats from people listening to the new music in their cars, which isn't enough to dispel fears they might not sell tickets.

The pair will return home to tour the new album in July, and while the fact they're playing bigger venues is a marker of success, they're now worried they won't be able to fill those rooms.

"Unless they're sold out, you have no idea how many people are going to come, it's a bit daunting. And it's such a weird limbo period, the fans have only had two songs off the record," Georgia says.

That said, they're entirely confident in their new material because this time they "actually knew what we were doing".

Georgia and Caleb Nott of Broods.
Georgia and Caleb Nott of Broods.

The new album has heavier production, more intelligent lyrics, more energy, and songs that were "made to play live".

"The first time we hadn't done much touring or anything so it was just songs we wanted to make at the time so there wasn't a lot of production influences... whereas this record we've made over one and a half, two years, so this time it's more ... what's the word?" Caleb asks.

Georgia answers: "Eclectic."

For a song that really sums up where these two are at in their lives and careers, listen to the title track Conscious, which they describe as "the most Broods song we've ever written" and a "really good representation of both of us".

Who: Broods
What: New album Conscious releases June 24
Where and when: They will play at Christchurch's Horncastle Arena on July 14, Auckland's Vector Arena on July 15, Wellington's Shed 6 on July 17, and Dunedin's Union Hall on July 18.

- Weekend magazine

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