The second record is one of the most daunting things you can do as a recording artist,” starts Caleb Nott. Alongside “the expectation of living up to your first record,” Broods also wrestled with wanting to develop their sound without “freaking anyone out by doing something totally different.” Despite the pressure and the cliff-faced struggle, they’ve made following up 2014’s ‘Evergreen’ look remarkably easy.
Caleb and his younger sister Georgia set to work on ‘Conscious’ as soon as their debut dropped, hitting the studio at every opportunity. “There was a lot of experimenting to begin with but the first songs we wrote were similar to the last record,” explains Georgia. “’Free’ was the first song that really stood out.” Drawing from the likes of Kanye West, M.I.A., Radiohead, Marilyn Manson and CHVRCHES, the track is drenched in passion, gets straight to the point but is smart enough to keep you coming back for more. “We found how we wanted to evolve and after that, we got on a roll and wrote most of the record.” Anything went, as long as it “felt like a development for us and as long as it felt different.”
Naturally, the band’s second album sees the pair armed with a more grown view. “As you get older, you’re exposed to more of the world and you have to face different problems,” Georgia says. “That’s what we’ve been writing about.” ‘Conscious’ is about life experience. “It’s about how you change and you grow. It’s just trying to figure out, with the first record we were still trying to find ourselves as writers, with this record we’d learnt a lot from people that we’d worked with and from our experiences. We’d also experimented heaps just by ourselves. We’d tasted a few different ways of writing and what we came out with was a style that’s true to is. It’s very emotionally-charged, and that’s what this new record is. A very heavy emotionally-charged pop album.”
“We wanted a sense of individualism and a sound that was unique to us. We wanted it to sound new,” continues Caleb. “There are so many different types of energies on this record. It’s all very energetic but they’re all very different because we wrote it over such a long time.” That space to explore also meant that “there’s a lot of different topics on this record, compared to the first record which we wrote and recorded in five weeks.” Despite worries that the ever-changing energies and topics would confuse the album, ‘Conscious’ is bound together by Broods’ powerful sense of self.
“You have to remember that human beings don’t only feel one thing and they don’t only go through one experience, so it can still be an accurate depiction of our life. We go through different phases and feel different emotions and awesome albums have that diversity. I really like it when there’s a wave, a journey, when you’re listening to it.”
And as the band’s world-view gets bigger, so does their scope to put their mark upon it. “That comes with the confidence of experience,” ventures Caleb. “Having that experience of playing all around the world, you have that confidence in yourself that you are better than you were. Georgia is a much stronger singer and on this album you can hear it. The production’s a lot more full on and honed in. The last record was emotionally expressive but this record is physically expressive as well.”
“Everything’s very in your face,” Georgia adds. “We’ve left little room for people to relax listening to this record but music’s suppose to be an all-senses experience. It’s cool to have all these pop tunes that have some essence to them and a depth to the lyrics and the production. We’re just really happy with it.” And you can hear that despite Georgia finding it “hard to write happy songs that I’m not annoyed at” (“it’s hard to find the edge and not make them sound cheesy,” she explains), ‘Conscious’ is all about challenging yourself until you feel at home.
“I want people to feel like there’s a sense of comfort in some of the songs because we do get pretty personal. I want people to feel empowered. There’s some dark stuff on this record but the reason I write is to express how I feel,” finishes Georgia. “It’s that honesty I take from other people’s music so I want people to feel that when they listen to ours. To feel like there’s some sort of connection. Music’s helped me through a lot of things and I feel like we can just be open now. We’re not holding anything back. It makes you feel quite at peace with yourself knowing that you’ve put everything into it. Hopefully other people can feel what we feel.”
“I just want to break down that wall of pop side of things and the alternative side of things and build a little bridge in between them,” adds Caleb. “Over the last year pop’s been getting so much more interesting and a lot more expressive. Pop’s cool again and that’s awesome.”
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