Breaking the silent anticipation that has settled over the past two years, the sweet yet sombre New Zealand duo, Broods, are back with their sophomore album, Conscious. Featuring tracks that are light in melody but dark in nature, Broods offer a moving insight into the volatility of love and the indulgence of memory.

Kicking off this extensive 13-track album, ‘Free stands an empowering tribute to the resurgence of power, and a rediscovered sense of control. With the grimy essence of a dark, pulsating synth and energetic crescendos, we are left invigorated with a glimpse of splendour to come. Presenting their diverse flair, Broods deliver waves of nostalgia through their second track, ‘We Had Everything’. Littered with staccato synth, an entrancing beat and alluring vocals; the audience finds themselves “caught in the heat” of an evocative reflection and an expression of lost times.

Unveiling the duo’s passion and energy, ‘Are You Home’ is a fast-paced discussion on the explosive nature of love and deceit, heard through the lyrics “are you home tonight? Are you alone tonight?” This track, heated with vigour of an impassioned youth, resonates sentiments of vulnerability that accompanies an unstable relationship. Broods delve into a more pensive nature with the middle-segment of their album; ‘Hold The Line’ featuring soft, delayed vocals, which are reminiscent of the brooding qualities of their lyrics “cut clean, relieve me/ let free, the vain of my life”. Additionally, ‘Freak Of Nature’ offers a soft climax of bittersweet memories: an undying longing for the arcadia of a simpler time.

As the album begins to manifest as a complete entity, trends of love, loss and insecurities begin to present themselves. ‘All Of Your Glory’ articulates the sombreness of losing someone through an indulgent, dreamy soundscape and a lush loneliness. Taking a break from melancholic melodies, the two-piece outfit deliver an invigorating, upbeat track filled with hope, and the inklings of a new genesis. ‘Recovery Revised’ features empowering vocals and enlivening climaxes to aid the sensibilities that escort the anticipation of new beginnings. The track laments the end of something destructive, but offers a future to something beautifully brilliant as “meet me on the road to recovery” is echoed throughout the song.

Through energetic synth riffs and crisp, dreamy vocals, Georgia Nott illustrates the darkest side of love; how feelings can eclipse reason, projected through her lyrics “we drive into the night, away from the light… this is full blown love”. However, the final three songs on the album provide us with a sense of self-reflection and transformation with a slow climax that begins with the recognition of self-worth in ‘Worth The Fight’ as Nott croons, “fill me up and let me try/to show you beauty from inside”. In ‘Bedroom Door’, we are confronted with an aching intimacy and the desire to escape reality as ‘shut up the bedroom door/and shut out the world some more’ suspends us in a heartfelt memoir of longing. The last instalment and the chosen title for the album, ‘Conscious’ features powerful, yielding vocals that reflect the ethereal qualities of the track. However, the poignant essence of clarity is perhaps the most moving feature of the track as Nott recognises her ‘nightmares feel like real life’ as the illusive qualities of memory are slowly relinquished.

Essentially, Conscious acts as a vehicle to deliver insight into the most beautiful, and the darkest aspects of love. Each track pays homage to the poignancy of memory and the bittersweet pleasures of nostalgia, yet the entire album stands alone as a cohesive, emotional journey that showcases Broods’ emerging and growing maturity as artists. If you’re looking for something raw, beautiful and easy on the ears – awaken your subconscious with Conscious.

Conscious is available now via UMA. 

7/10