The New Zealand-born duo Broods keep going from strength to strength, with only two years passing since their first studio album,Evergreen.

Their new effort, Conscious, is a big step forward, boasting the upbeat emotion of their signature synth beats and melodic vocals from Georgia Nott.

We hit the ground running with ‘Free’, an incredibly catchy song that seems set to launch Broods into the mainstream. This might have something to do with the fact this album was produced by long-term collaborator Joel Little, who’s worked with recent pop sensations like Lorde, Ellie Goulding and Jarryd James.

‘We Had Everything’ is a breezy summer tune, while ‘Are You Home’ starts slow but breaks out into a cheesy ’80s-inspired pop beat. The vocals really shine on ‘Heartlines’, a track co-written by Lorde, and the mixed tempos echo similar-sounding bands like Chvrches and The Naked And Famous.

‘Freak Of Nature’ features the Swedish pop singer Tove Lo, and it’s a heavier ballad about embracing and overcoming personal demons. Meanwhile, the piano backing behind ‘All Of Your Glory’ is a nice touch, making it one of the best songs on the record.

‘Couldn’t Believe’ and ‘Full Blown Love’ pick up the pace again, and the album rounds out nicely with the title track, ‘Conscious’, which ends things on a high.

Broods’Consciousis available now through Capitol/Universal.

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