The brother–sister duo from New Zealand, Broods (Georgia and Caleb Nott), have proved that they can do it again as they explore and experiment with a whole new side of indie–pop with their third album, Don’t Feed the Pop Monster. Three years ago their album, Conscious, produced the pop hits “Free” and “Heartlines,” which propelled Broods to international stardom. They soon found themselves sharing a stage with the likes of Tove Lo and Taylor Swift. Now Broods is back with something lighter, simpler and more vulnerable. Ditching the heavier beats of Conscious, the new album opens with “Sucker,” a synthy track in which lead singer Georgia Nott admits to having tried hard to fit in. From the album’s title to the first track, it’s clear that Broods is trying to distinguish themselves from mainstream pop. Despite their millions of monthly listeners on Spotify, with this new album, Broods tries to reclaim a more authentic, almost singer–songwriter aesthetic.
Peach, their lead single off the album, is refreshing and upbeat. Opening with “I love the peace when I feel alone/It’s a part of me that I never run from,” the song overflows with feelings of self–love and positivity. It’s unique for Georgia to sing with such optimism and to break from the boldness and dark electronic sounds of prior albums. Even more serious songs, such as “Falling Apart” and “Hospitalized,” maintain a lightness and a sweetness. There’s a dissonance between the sound and the lyrics—the words are about breaking down, but Georgia’s voice and her brother Caleb’s synths are harmonic and unifying. On “Everytime You Go,” Broods experiment with funky beats and rhythms which fill the track more than the vocals do. While playing around with these electronic sounds, Broods is still able to maintain the feeling of sentimentality that comes with wishing a friend or family member goodbye.
Don't Feed the Pop Monster is consistently experimental. With “Too Proud,” Caleb, the sibling behind the instrumentals and synthetic sounds, emerges as lead vocalist for the first time. His voice seems to reflect this nerve–wracking, yet exciting development for him. The lines are candid and humble, and act as moments of confession on the album. The next song on the album, “To Belong,” took the duo over a year to create, and the meticulously tested lyrics, vibes, and perspectives come together on this 5:46 minute tour–de–force. Not following the typical pop song structure with a distinct intro, chorus and bridge, Broods creates a stream–of–consciousness feel. Then “Old Dog,” comes on and it sounds like you’re listening to an entirely new album. The only song on the album with a feature lets Broods try their hand at punky pop with Swedish singer, Elliphant. Finally finishing with, “Life After,” Broods exit their album with an emotional song about heaven. It’s dramatic and emotional–think Lorde’s Melodrama–and it serves as a perfect farewell for the project.
On Don’t Feed the Pop Monster, Georgia and Caleb Nott set out to be true to themselves and counter the mainstream “pop monster”. Their motives are certainly not subtle, but they successfully contribute some new sounds to indie–pop. The album may not produce as many popular hits as Evergreen and Conscious, but it’s sweet and fresh like a peach.