Some two years ago Broods—made up of siblings Caleb and Georgia Nott—hit it big. They wrote "Bridges," a stuttering, glacially cool synthpop anthem that scored them an army of (internet) fans and a major label deal. (Almost five million plays on soundcloud alone.) But their story starts in Nelson, New Zealand, a small beach town full of hippies. According to Georgia some of the townspeople went through a phase of knitting blankets for the trees. (Guerilla knitting. It's a thing apparently.)
Prior to Broods garnering international acclaim, the siblings had been making music together for years, self taught, with the help of YouTube on occasion, and strongly encouraged by their mom. Fun fact: in New Zealand they have a competition called Smokefreerockquest where high school bands battle each other for a top prize. Over the years everyone from The Datsuns (remember them? Probably not), to Kimbra, to The Naked and Famous have entered, and as the band The Peasants, Caleb and Georgia walked away with the crown in 2011. More on that later…
In 2014, not long after "Bridges" blew up Broods released their debut album, Evergreen. As Georgia puts it, "The lyrics are my baby and the production is Caleb's baby and we still love each other's children, obviously, but it's the thing we each take the most pride in and what we think we're best at."
She continues: "It comes down to the way we listened music—I've always had a connection to the lyrical content, whereas…"
"I know every bassline and guitar line," interjects Caleb. To this day Georgia says her favorite ever song is Jeff Buckley's interpretation of "Hallelujah."
"It hit me like a ton of bricks," she explains. "Something about the way the lyrics are sung by him—so broken and so raw. That's the kind of music I really connect with, that'll stay with me forever."
Having relocated to LA, for convenience and to make the most of their star in the ascendent, the pair have recently returned with their newly released sophomore record Conscious. Whereas the last record was written in two weeks, their second album evolved over two years. Relationships, both longterm and the first flutters, are dissected here. (Georgia is married and Caleb is single so that's where each are coming from on that front.) With the help of producer and fellow New Zealander Joel Little, Conscious is the meeting point between Still Corners, Ellie Goulding, and Lorde, who, coincidentally has a co-write on the album. It's a collection filled with pulsing synths and smart percussion—plus a standout guest appearance from Tove Lo—a smart mix of intimate, soft-centered balladry and dancefloor-angled electropop.
To celebrate the release of their record, and for our semi-regular deep dive into the outfits artists wish they could forget, it's flashback Friday, and this brother and sister have gone in and brought out some gems.
Georgia: This is when we first got our rabbits but we had to get rid of Caleb’s because mine kept beating his up! Caleb: I don’t know why mine had to be given away because it was getting beaten up by Georgia’s we should’ve got rid of the bully!
Georgia: I was about ten here my youngest sister would’ve been three we were wearing matching hats. When I was their age I didn’t really get new clothes because I had so many cousins so I would just get their hand-me-downs. I don’t think I started wearing clothes that were mine first until I started buying my own at 14 or 15.
Georgia: My sunglasses choice is horrible everything about my outfit there is horrible actually that was probably my ugliest phase of my life I don’t know how I had a boyfriend.
Caleb: Here I was pretty fit, I’m wearing my favorite rugby shorts and I wore those shoes until they were pretty much falling off my feet. Back then I was a surfer and surfers were wearing straw hats it was like a Billabong hat or something.
Caleb: We were just coming in from taking the boat out just going for a row. The Marlborough Sounds is somewhere we used to holiday a lot when we were growing up and still do. It’s me and our cousin who drummed for our high school band.
Georgia: This was prom but we just call it the ball and I had really dark hair it was the phase when it was in for everyone to have really dark hair.
Georgia: I was dressed up for our younger sister Tegan’s birthday party! It was Olympic themed so I went as a gymnast. I was not a 2016 gymnast I was a gymnast from 1982.
Caleb: Here we’re playing a game it was called “eat the cookie off the washing line” it was this cookie with a hole in the middle and you would tie a string on it and tie it to the washing line, the first one to eat it without touching it would win. I was probably 17 or 18 here I don’t know why I was joining in on a seven-year-old’s birthday.
Caleb: This is when I had a big quiff! I think I was 20 I’d just got a tattoo, I was listening to a lot of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Gnarls Barkley, and Gorillaz. I was newly obsessed with Danger Mouse at this stage.
We went and played at one of our friend’s older brother’s 21st birthday for her family. This was once we had a band with a single out in New Zealand. We were just playing covers and harmonizing at this point, at this party we covered Tighten Up by the Black Keys.
Georgia: All of the wristbands I have on are from the rockquests that we were doing, it’s a competition that we entered in early on and won. That’s how we got in touch with a manager, we even headlined all the competitions afterwards as the guest band.
Georgia: This was our peasant’s costume our aunt made them and that’s our other cousin Abby. Yes, our band was called The Peasants and we actually dressed like peasants it was a terrible idea.
Georgia: We went through our vintage phase so we would just wear vintage clothes and dress like we were from the fucking 50s and I thought if I looked like Allie from the Notebook then I’d be perfect so.
Georgia: This was the band, Caleb is on the far left and I’m in the middle and these are our cousins, look at us all with our dark hair and metal partings. Our look was called, these are the coolest things you can buy in our town.
Caleb: This was the first press shot back in 2013. My quiff is huge! I was 21 here.
Georgia: Nowadays we're much more monochrome, a bit more masculine. I really like it when girls dress a little bit androgynous. I just dyed my hair blonde this year. It's so high maintainence, and I had scabs on my head from the bleach, but it's so worth it. It's a bit more sleek and modern now. When did looking good become so important!? Well judging by these pictures, not until very recently! [Laughs.]