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Q&A: Broods talk about their breakout single 'Mother & Father'

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Stephen Tilley

Broods are a brother and sister—Georgia and Caleb Nott—based out of Auckland, New Zealand. Geographically inclined pop listeners will note that this is where zeitgeist-dominating teen pop phenomenon Lorde also lives, and the two acts have more in common than just a hometown–Broods’ upcoming album, Evergreen, was produced by Joel Little, who also helmed Pure Heroine, and they share a common goal of uniting radio-friendly pop hooks and the cool-toned minimalist aesthetic that’s been dominating hip-hop during the Drake era.

Recently they released the first single from Evergreen, “Mother & Father,” and with its sweeping hook and up-to-the-minute production it’s already looking like it has a good chance of continuing the Kiwi takeover of the American pop charts. (Their upcoming tour with Sam Smith should help as well.) EW got on the phone with Georgia Nott to discuss it.

EW: You and your brother have been playing music together for a very long time, right?

GEORGIA NOTT: Yeah, ages, pretty much. I won’t say our whole lives, because we didn’t really learn to play music until we were about 15, but ever since then we kind of just started playing at school and stuff, and then found out that we’re quite the good team.

You were in a band together before this?

Yeah, we were in a high school band. We were in a few, actually. We used to do acoustic covers and stuff. We had two bands in high school that we used to write our own stuff for, and enter competitions with.

It’s kind of surprising to me how New Zealand has a long history of producing really good music, for such a small place.

Yeah, I think it’s almost easier, coming from New Zealand. It’s very small, and everybody knows everybody, so you can kind of find yourself knowing the right people pretty quickly. And there’s this competition that runs throughout all the high schools in New Zealand called Smokefree Rockquest, and anybody that does music enters that, and I kind of found a way to enter the industry through that. And so, it’s pretty amazing place to kind of start out in, and find your fate in the music industry.

Can you tell me a bit about the evolution of what Broods has become? Where it got to just the two of you, and sort of the sound that you guys have been working in.

We started writing together from this time last year, from the very beginning of last year, and then we started working on the EP with Joel, and experimenting with a whole lot of different sounds. We eventually wrote a ton of music. Some of it was really terrible, and some of it was really awesome. And we kind of settled down with this electronic, synthy, downbeat pop sound that we just both kind of felt connected and comfortable with. And even then we kept evolving with our style, and experimenting with different ways of writing together. And hopefully the album—it’s not quite the same as the EP, but it’s definitely an evolved version of Broods.

Do you have the full-length finished?

Yes, we finished it in five weeks. We didn’t have very much time to write and record because we were so busy with touring and stuff. In a way, we kind of enjoyed the first show, because it means you don’t dwell about things that aren’t working, you just go for the things that are really natural and organic, and they just kind of happen on their own. I think it’s on August 22 in New Zealand, Australia, and there’s no dates to the UK or U.S. yet, but we’re working on that.

It seems like you guys especially just very recently seem to have blown up quite a bit. I was wondering what that experience has been like for you.

It’s a huge adjustment. We were rehearsing for six months, and I couldn’t stop laughing and smiling because I was just so buzzed out by it. The whole time, I was just … they probably thought I was this weird girl who smiled way too much when she was performing.

It’s gotta be nice to have a brother as someone else going through this experience with you, someone who has your back.

Oh, totally. It’s so much easier. I cannot describe to you how much easier it is with him on the road with me. It would be next to impossible to stay sane.

I gotta ask you: Pretty much everywhere that you’ve got this new song written up, there have been comparisons to Lorde. How do you feel about that?

Well, we’ve known her, and we owe a lot to her for her support that she’s given us indirectly and directly, She’s directly supported us in the way that she tweets our music every time we put something new out. And also just the fact that we’ve gained of lot of fans through people comparing our sound to hers. It’s not a bad thing in our eyes that people relate us to her, because kind of an obvious thing. We’re both from New Zealand, we both have the same producer, similar background stories. It seems there’s a lot that’s comparable, really. It’s a small country at the bottom of the world. And we just kind of made our way across the ocean in a very short amount of time.


09/05 – KRBZ’s Beach Ball – Kansas City, MO

09/11 – Fete Lounge – Providence, RI

09/14 – Bug Jar – Rochester, NY

09/15 – House of Blues – Boston, MA*

09/16 – Echostage – Washington, DC*

09/18 – United Palace Theater – New York, NY*

09/19 – Hammerstein Ballroom – New York, NY*

09/21 – Kool Haus – Toronto, ON*

09/22 – Riviera Theater – Chicago, IL*

09/24 – Orpheum Theatre – Vancouver, BC*

09/25 – Paramount Theater – Seattle, WA*

09/26 – Edgefield – Portland, OR*

09/28 – Fox Theater – Oakland, CA*

09/29 – The Greek Theatre – Los Angeles, CA*

09/30 – The Greek Theatre – Los Angeles, CA*

10/04 – House of Blues – Houston, TX*

10/06 – Tabernacle – Atlanta, GA*

10/07 – Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TN*

10/09 – House of Blues – Dallas, TX*

*with Sam Smith