Music that hasn’t made it to the radio is my thing and Broods ‘Conscious’ is yet another album that’s not getting as much buzz as it deserves.
To give some background on my music relationship with the band let’s rewind a couple of years back. In 2014 the New Zealand-bred brother and sister duo, Broods, released their self-titled EP. Their 2013 breakout hit “Bridges” garnered them a lot of attention and I immediately fell in love with their music.
Capitalizing on their recognition, Georgia and Caleb Nott quickly followed it up with their first full-length debut entitled Evergreen.
Shortly after I started Violet Roots in early 2015 I featured the band in my very first concert review. I’m impressed by them so much that I jumped ahead and bought tickets to see them perform again in August along with Jarryd James before their sophomore album was even released.
Still, despite my being an obvious fangirl, I thought it would be cool to try out a new series and review Broods ‘Conscious’ as objectively as possible. I wrote this intro after I had written my initial thoughts because I wanted to be as true to my stream of conscious (no pun intended. . .maybe) as I could be.
By doing it this way I can give my first impression, thoughtful opinion, track highlights and my final verdict as to whether or not this album is for you!
1st Listen || Initial Thoughts
Broods ‘Conscious’ was released on June 24th and was not what I was expecting. Every good artist stretches themselves and tries to deliver something new while remaining true to their essence.
It’s my fault for assuming that ‘Conscious’ would be a part 2 of sorts to their first album. The synth sounds on the Broods EP and Evergreen album are pretty much identical and you can tell that the musical vibe and themes were created closely together.
This record, however, paces upward and then slows down a lot more than Evergreen. It has a more assertive feel and, on certain songs, a grander sound. This is due to their use of live instruments in the recording process. I can feel the energy throughout and as always, their lyrics are vulnerable, relatable and honest. (Click to Tweet)
The Team || Production & Writing
Both of their records are produced by Joel Little who is known for working with fellow New Zealander, Lorde. One thing that immediately stood out to me about this record was the features and the writing credits. Lorde collaborated with the band and producer to write “Heartlines” and she isn’t the last writing credit to go outside of the band/producer.
Previously, their writing was self-contained and although they didn’t load up on writers this time, there isn’t a noticeable difference. Still, they did choose their writing partners wisely.
The songwriting powerhouses brought on board include multi-platinum selling writer, Captain Cuts. They, along with Joel Little and Alex Hope collectively worked with Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, Halsey, Marina & the Diamonds, Walk the Moon, Jack Antonoff and more.
Alex Hope, known for collaborating with Troye Sivan worked on “Hold the Line”, “Recovery”, and “Freak of Nature. The latter features Tove Lo which is another thing that stands out on Broods ‘Conscious’ since the first album had zero major features.
Track Notes || +/-
1.“Free” || Starts the album off strong. It evokes a darker energy than their debut release and gives you the feeling like you’re overcoming something or just crushed your goals. You’re done trying to please other people and you’re more self-assured than ever despite the risks.
3. “Are You Home” || I don’t really associate Broods with dancing and this song makes me want to dance and also makes me feel a bit paranoid. Haha. The lyrics tell the story of a suspicious lover and the music moves the listener to not only hear her plight but to feel that same angst.
4. “Heartlines” || To be honest, something about this song didn’t click with me. I’m not sure if it’s the phrase “Heartlines” or just the song itself. Lorde collaborated on this song and, as a fan of hers, I was expecting more.
After my initial disappointment and the closer I listened to it, I could clearly hear that familiar “Lorde” sound that I love. I think in this case it just didn’t translate as well as it could have when handed off to someone else to perform.
It’s not a bad tune, many people can relate to long distance love but for me, it’s not my favorite. However, this song does have that “grow on you” vibe to it and I have a feeling it will do just that.
5. “Hold the Line” || The tempo picks back up a bit here. It’s the kind of song that’s leading up to something else. You might feel down but you’re not giving up. The music is a bit somber but also optimistic.
6. “Freak of Nature” (ft. Tove Lo) || This power ballad is a lot like “Heartlines” in that I’m not sure where things went wrong. That might sound harsh but I mean it with the utmost respect for both Tove Lo and Broods.
I’ve seen Tove Lo perform live, I love her unique voice and how she’s always barefoot. Still, every year there is a new rising artist that everyone wants to feature on their album. Lately, Tove Lo is having that moment. Everyone’s songs from Nick Jonas to Coldplay to Alesso feature her voice.
I’m not trying to take a paycheck away from anyone. This song has a beautiful message about mental illness but I feel like Georgia could have easily sung this on her own. This song isn’t bad with her it’s just a bit distracting.
7. “All of Your Glory” || Is a sweet lullaby and probably the slowest moment of the song. It’s a good follow-up to “Freak of Nature” that calms the tone down and allows the listener to focus on Georgia’s voice. To me, this song is about loving a person despite their flaws and hoping they feel the same.
8. “Recovery” || Recovery is probably the only straight-up dance track on the album and I love it!
9. “Couldn’t Believe” || This track is one of the happier songs on Broods ‘Conscious’ and it gives me all the warm and fuzzies. It’s just about being happily in love and wanting to pinch yourself. After I wrote my initial thoughts I found out that Georgia wrote this tune about the night she got engaged.
11. “Worth the Fight” || THIS. This song right here! I find myself repeating this song and the closer “Conscious” more than any of the other songs. We’ve all felt a bit unworthy. As misguided as that feeling often is it feels very real when you’re at that low point.
12. “Bedroom Door” || For me, this song echoes “Four Walls” off of their debut release. Both songs are about retreating to your bedroom with your love and tuning the rest of the world out. You console one another, feed off your mutual affection and feel at home.
13. “Conscious” || Broods ‘Conscious’ ends on an emotional high note. The album’s namesake is one of the darkest sounds and yet has some of the most defiantly positive lyrics. It’s refreshing to hear a song that isn’t as closely related to relationship storytelling as the rest of the album. It’s a departure that leaves me eager to hear more and It’s also a nice bookend to the equally grand production of the opening track, “Free.”
Should you listen to Broods ‘Conscious’? YES.
If you love lyrics as much as you love music then that’s reason enough to give this album a try. Our opinions may differ on Lorde backed “Heartlines” or Tove Lo’s feature on “Freak of Nature” but even okay songs by Broods are better than a lot of the stuff getting more airplay.
What do you think of Broods ‘Conscious’ and the highlighted tracks?
What album or single should I give a 1st Listen to next?