They say you have your whole life to make your first album, and once the cat’s out of the bag, you only get a few months to make a second album. (Unless you’re Frank Ocean, but that’s a whole other story.) Fortunately for us, New Zealand-based brother-and-sister duo BROODS far exceeded any expectations for their return to a sold-out 9:30 Club in support of their sophomore album, Conscious.
Georgia and Caleb Nott have built a strong following through their dark and industrial electronic pop, and it shines through in their live show. The energy was palpable from the get-go as the crowd erupted as Georgia made her way to the stage in a dark cloud of smoke. During title track “Conscious”, the black frills on her jacket flew in every direction as she danced all over the stage. As she entranced the crowd, the rest of the band further propelled the crowd into motion with powerful synths and drums. Though shrouded in smoke for a lot of the show, Nott's brother and beat-maker Caleb was just as expressive as he alternated between the keys and drum pad.
Halfway through the set, the siblings took a break from the hard-hitting synths and grabbed a pair of stools to play two songs acoustically. With Caleb on the guitar and Georgia on vocals, Georgia joked that this setup made their songs “sadder than they usually are.” Their lyrical content can sometimes be hidden in the larger-than-life soundcape of their music, so when she asked that the crowd take the meaning home for new track “All of Your Glory”, the crowd obliged by staying completely silent throughout the song. The reverance carried over to the next song as Caleb fingerpicked his way through ”Taking You There”. It’s not often that you can hear a pin drop in the 1,200 capacity 9:30 Club, making their acoustic renditions a special moment for concertgoers.
What’s become clear is that BROODS is destined to make it big. They embody the ideals of pop music without carrying the stigma that the ‘pop music’ label can attach. Everything about them, from the music to the clothes to the stage show, suggests that they would be just as comfortable playing to tens of thousands of fans as they are playing at 9:30 Club. The performances of their new songs pulled off something that’s hard to accomplish:hey made their first radio hit, "Bridges", pale in comparison. Songs like “Couldn’t Believe”, “We Had Everything”, and “Free”had the crowd jumping and singing along as Georgia impressed with her moves and amazing vocals. They’ll keep playing “Bridges”for the adoring crowds, but it seems clear that their newest album has immediately become the fan favorite. And who knows? Maybe all they need to make another strong album again is a few months. (Again, don’t tell Frank Ocean.)
Opening for BROODS was Jarryd James, an Australian singer/songwriter and great musician in his own right. He brought Georgia out for a duet on a very BROODS-like slow burner of a song, 1000x. Fans of BROODS should make an effort to see him as his musical profile grows.