Turning uncertainty into triumph: Broods on taking back control

Making tough choices and going back to the drawing board wasn't what Broods' duo Caleb and Georgia Nott had anticipated would be the propeller to ignite their creativity.

But it was exactly what the duo needed to bring their third album to life.

A difference in approach to the duo's look, feel and sound saw them part ways from their US label, Capitol Records, following the release of their second album Conscious, leaving them unsure of where to next. They were challenged to refocus and it was then they found freedom.

The uncertainty they faced pushed the pair on a new pathway, later allowing them to discover what was possible on their own terms as musicians, as siblings and as individuals.

Time to think was what the pair needed before launching into their third album.
Time to think was what the pair needed before launching into their third album. Photo credit: Getty Images.

"It was the best thing for us but there were times where it was just like 'do people care?'" Georgia told Newshub. "We had this thing we believed in so much and it was like 'shit, does anyone else?

"I think you can get a little bit too sucked in how well other people are doing as well, especially living in LA where there are so many successful people and we're surrounded by people that are like killing it and at times it feels like you are such a small fish, in such a big pond."

They've come back with a tasteful confidence and are far less obsessed with what other people think.

It was in taking time to breathe and realign that subsequently pushed the Nelson-bred hit-makers to this month proudly unveil their 12-song strong offering Don't Feed The Pop Monster with a side of renewed purpose and sense of selves.

From contemplating a return to their parent's home in the South Island and brainstorming ideas to come up with funding for the record, they have been able to grow and create something remarkable - and that's the point they are keen to make.

"It's crazy because I don't think we would have the album that we have if we didn't go through those things that were hard," Georgia says.

"You've got to keep thinking that every experience that you go through - whether it's good or bad - is going to make you more you or a stronger version of yourself or more self-aware and that's something we've really learned, we need to be checking in with ourselves." 

They figured out what was possible on their own terms as musicians, as siblings and as individuals.
They figured out what was possible on their own terms as musicians, as siblings and as individuals. Photo credit: Getty Images.

As an entity they possess an enviable aesthetic made richer by their influential sound, but Broods knew better when they began to be pulled in a direction that didn't fit their original motives or ambitions.

On the back of a flourishing start to their career, they've now been able to recognise how close they became to falling over their own success, and conform to an industry model which shies away from confronting pop music and prioritises "easy to swallow" radio plays over that with meaning.

"We were forced to make decisions and otherwise they were going to hold the record from us," Caleb says.

Not willing to conform to formulas ruling the industry, Georgia says it was important to remember what they stood for.

For Broods to write tracks that mattered, the pair needed to step back from habits they had formed putting together their first two albums - Conscious and Evergreen - and master a new, unknown technique - stop worrying. 

It included reflecting on their humble beginnings - days of vying for a placing at Richmond Mall's talent competition and celebrating taking out Smokefree Rockquest in their high school band as students of Garin College.

"It's good to think about what we saw ourselves doing back then because it really makes us appreciate just how far we've come, compared to how we thought it was going to go. 

"You've just got to check in with high school self and go if anyone told us we were going to be doing this, we would have been like 'no way'," Caleb says.

The pair launched their new album Don't Feed The Pop Monster on February 1.
The pair launched their new album Don't Feed The Pop Monster on February 1. Photo credit: Getty Images.

They say it's important on their journey to be checking in with each success. To date that includes taking out an impressive 11 New Zealand's Music Awards after scooping their first win for Breakthrough Artist of the Year in 2014.

Amongst a scattering of US television show performances, the duo have toured with Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, Haim and recently accompanied Taylor Swift on the Australasian leg of her Reputation tour.

They say returning home is a bit like "living in slow motion" compared to the fast-paced, hustle and bustle of Los Angeles.

"Here you can breathe out for a second because we know where we're going and what we're doing and we know people, and it's really refreshing to come home," Georgia says.

Both Caleb and Georgia spent time in 2018 pursuing their own solo projects - a move which ultimately has brought them closer together as a band and they now realise more deeply the worth of their collaboration together.

"It gave us a new appreciation for each other," Caleb explains. "I was like 'yeah you're my favourite person to write music with, definitely'."

Georgia says writing music the way they do, delving into the vulnerabilities of themselves as people and exploring ideas, feelings and relationships is so personal their influences in sessions need to be on point.  

The album is vibrant and holds an empowering sense of confidence as the group take on a new outlook of acceptance.
The album is vibrant and holds an empowering sense of confidence as the group take on a new outlook of acceptance. Photo credit: Getty Images.

"To be in a room with people that you trust more than anything is the only way you can really collaborate and get something honest and authentic out of a session." 

For them both to be able to go away and hold their own for a little bit meant becoming stronger as individuals, more self-sufficient and self-reliant.

"We really had to learn to look into ourselves instead out at other people for who we were," Georgia says.

As they champion positivity and exude composure, they say lessons they've come to realise are ones that could empower others.

"Give yourself grace. That's the thing I always have to remember because there are times where you feel like you're not where you need to be or you are treading water and you just have to give yourself a bit of a break," Georgia says.

"It's when you are in those harder times that you're more on your way to finding your best self.

"You can't find that person without going through all the shit first. You're allowed to have bad days, you're allowed to be weak and vulnerable because that's how you get stronger - that's how you grow."

If they can promote that through their music, Georgia says they will be fulfilling their purpose.  

"If somebody's listening, you have to say something worth saying." 

Newshub.

 

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