It was only ten months ago that Caleb and Georgia Nott uploaded a song to their SoundCloud account under the name Broods. Little did the siblings know that ‘Bridges’ would send the internet ballistic, tee up a number of record deals with distinguished music labels including Capitol Records and Polydor, and summon a cult following of fans almost overnight.
Since then, the New Zealand-born pair has been set on overdrive, releasing a Broods EP, headlining shows on the other side of the globe and gracing international festival stages. Despite all this, Georgia is bright-eyed and pragmatic in her response to their jaw-dropping success. “It’s a bit too much to absorb if you try and take it all in at once. We were always doing music but we’d never actually sat down and thought, ‘Let’s actually try and make it as musicians.’ We didn’t even really think that when we started Broods.”
Aged 20 and 21 respectively, Georgia and Caleb’s decision to work together professionally is still a fresh resolve. Although they dabbled in projects through high school, it was never their intention to join forces and become Broods, a name well suited to their brooding sonics. “We didn’t decide together until the start of last year,” says Caleb. “I was full-time studying industrial design and Georgia was working, but not really doing her job,” he playfully chides. “Georgia tried to study music. She lasted three weeks.”
Georgia, however, is quick to defend herself. “I don’t like being told what to do,” she explains. “We’re self-taught. [In high school] we had this music teacher. He was all about performance and being a good musician rather than being theoretically clued up.” That music teacher, she says, was pivotal in carving out their interests and prompting their pursuit of a career in music, having redesigned the entire course with an emphasis on songwriting. “[It’s] all just because of this one dude that decided he was gonna fuck shit up,” she laughs.
The disarming fusion of synth-driven atmospherics and stomping beats on Broods’ debut EP had another influence – the hand of producer Joel Little, who rose to prominence as he joined Lorde onstage at the Grammys to accept a golden gramophone for Pure Heroine. With their collaboration predating Lorde’s success, Caleb says the ripple of events is still hard to comprehend. “That’s so weird – people referring to him as a crazy big producer. He’s been working his arse off for ten years, doing odd jobs, so it’s so cool to see him have that success. He’s such a honey.” As for distinguishing Broods’ sound from their fellow Kiwi, Caleb is quick to point out that Little’s work is tailored to his subjects. “He builds a sound around the artist,” Caleb says.
So it was an easy decision, says Georgia, to enlist Little’s help once again on their debut LP, Evergreen. “We’re kind of all dreams and no knowledge of how to work a computer. My demos on GarageBand are like – my percussion is me hitting the mic with my finger. I did this one thing where I was like…” She pulls her knee to her chest and rubs it with the palm of her hand, creating a slow, scraping sound. “I was just making weird noises with my clothes,” she giggles.
Caleb rises to his feet, one hand simulating pulling a drawstring. “One song on the album has one pair of my pants – you pull it and it makes this ‘pop’ noise. I was just sitting there and Joel goes, ‘Should we record that?’”
“That’s what happens when we’re in the studio for five weeks straight,” laughs Georgia. “‘Oh my God – this is genius! Let’s record our clothes!’”
With ‘Bridges’ now comfortably sitting on over four million Spotify streams, and Broods’ new single ‘Mother & Father’ shooting straight to number one on the Hype Machine charts, it’s a good thing that time together isn’t taxing. “We’re constantly doing stuff and it’s full-on,” says Georgia. “When we’re under pressure, it’s all about protecting each other and making sure that we’re OK,” she says, Caleb nodding firmly in agreement. When it comes to songwriting, Georgia says that Broods’ signature vulnerability comes naturally in the studio. “It’s not an unusual thing for the other person to know what we’re going through, even when it comes to relationships and that kind of personal stuff.”
That “personal stuff” has now, to their credit, been sung along to in stadiums around the world, with coveted support slots alongside pop royals Ellie Goulding and Haim seeing Broods win audiences in Canada, the USA and the UK. Just recently, the duo sent crowds wild at Splendour In The Grass, before tending to a string of sold-out sideshows. “Our goal was to be able to play shows in Australia, and we’re playing everywhere,” gushes Georgia. “It’s weird when you go over to the other side of the world and people are singing your songs back to you. It’s like, ‘How the hell do you even know that?!’”
The two don’t seem fazed in the slightest, though. Georgia eyes Caleb, as though half-expecting him to finish her idea. “I think you’ve kind of just got to run with it,” she says.
Evergreen is out Friday August 22 through Universal.