For the bulk of Evergreen, Auckland brother-sister duo Broods deal a similar brand of ethereal goth synthpop to London Grammar. The pair’s best moments play up the contrast between Georgia Nott’s ethereal vocal harmonies and brother Caleb’s elaborate electronic backdrops. The overall effect is a sturdy, if familiar-sounding debut of danceable energetic tracks with the injection of a dark twist.

The bouncing vocals allied with vibrant sonic textures in ‘Mother & Father’ set a luminous, mildly foreboding tone, furthered by hints of sketchy experimentation in ‘Everytime’. A scatter of shuddery synths in ‘Bridges’ alongside gradual sheets of stuttered beats in ‘Never Gonna Change’ set these tracks chief among the rest. Broods particularly shine on delicate ballad ‘Medicine’, illustrating the duet’s ability to downplay the somewhat heavy-handed feel and allow room for air in their sound. The track is lightened with a downtempo melancholy melody, especially flattering to Georgia’s elusive vocals.

 

 

It doesn’t always work, but in short, Broods’ knack for durable hooks demonstrates they can transcend the confines of gloomy synthpop. It’s quality songwriting with better production and poppiness in all the right places.

 

4/5.

Evergreen is out Friday August 22 through Universal.

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