Album Review: Broods – ‘Conscious’

Brother-sister duo Broods took the indie-pop world by storm after gracing our ears with their Freshman record ‘Evergreen’ in 2014. A year and a bit later, Broods are back bigger, bolder and better than ever with their sophomore record ‘Conscious’. From the moment Georgia Nott’s breathy vocals hit my ears in the opening track ‘Free’, I knew that this new record was going to be a massive step up from their first album. While Evergreen contained more dreamy and minimalistic downbeat synth-pop tracks, Conscious is filled to the brim with dark yet vibrant electro-pop anthems.

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In the opening track and lead single ‘Free’, Georgia’s crisp vocals open the album with “I’d lose everything so I can sing Hallelujah / I’m free, I’m free, I’m free, I’m free” before transitioning into a dark steady beat and an explosive electronic bass line. The chorus relaxes into layered vocal echoes that retract from the extremes of the verses and bridge, and it’s there that you become completely immersed within the song. The lyrics ooze with feelings of strength and determination, and this message flows throughout the entire record. The album’s title track ‘Conscious’ closes the album instrumentally in a similar vein, as Georgia’s light vocals are layered over glitchy, industrial electronic beats.

Tracks such as ‘Worth the Fight’ and ‘Bedroom Door’ both contain that familiar ambient and atmospheric downbeat sound, reminiscent to many of the songs on Broods’ debut record. ‘Worth the Fight’ is a heavy track, empty of many instruments other than a light percussion beat that is layered beneath airy vocals and the raw emotion of Georgia singing “I pray I will, I pray I might / Still be somebody worth the fight”. ‘Freak of Nature’ featuring Tove Lo is yet another mellow ballad within the album. This particular track allows for both Tove Lo and Georgia to showcase their impressive vocals during the thundering chorus of the song.

While this new record certainly retains Broods’ old essence, it ventures into a brighter pop-esque soundscape, containing more radio ready tracks like ‘Heartlines’, ‘Recovery’, ‘Full Blown Love’ and ‘Couldn’t Believe’. ‘Recovery’ is a standout track for me. It begins with Georgia’s soft vocals singing over flourishing synths before percussion kicks in, building up until it evolves into a booming atmospheric chorus, that’ll get you on your feet and groovin’ in an instant. ‘Heartlines’ is another standout track on the record. The track was co-written with pop princess and fellow NZ artist Lorde, which is extremely evident during the pre-chorus of the song.— “Dressing in black, you’re around for the weekend / Dancing at night, you’re the light that I won’t let go”.

Broods have done a spectacular job with ‘Conscious’, creating a stunning collection of dreamy, synth-heavy pop tunes. If there’s a record you need to listen to right now, ‘Conscious’ is most definitely the one.

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