BROODS: From New Zealand’s South Island to America’s West Coast, the sibling duo are now heading to Space Island

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BROODS: From New Zealand’s South Island to America’s West Coast, the sibling duo are now heading to Space Island

broods interview
(Image: Supplied)
Words by Mixdown Staff

Studio album number four is near for the brother and sister duo as we chat all things production, pandemic, and persistence!

Sunny California is a long way from New Zealand’s city of Nelson, but it’s a move that the sibling duo of BROODS Caleb and Georgia Nott have made with confidence after enjoying an astronomical rise from their humble beginnings on the South Island.

Georgia takes lead vocals in the musical duo while older brother and multi-instrumentalist Caleb takes on the production role and backing vocals in their whirlwind of electro and indie-pop goodness.

Read all the latest features, interviews and how-to columns here.

Their fourth studio album Space Island is out now and was mostly worked on their own in their home studio in downtown Los Angeles, occasionally joining forces with friends and producers like Leroy Clampitt (Ashe, FLETCHER) and Stint (MØ, Gallant).

The album was born out of a tough period for Georgia as she navigated her way through her divorce and channeled her emotions and feelings through the new record.

The album is described as “crystallised in a gorgeous constellation of sonic details – otherworldly beats, swooning guitar tones, and effervescent synth lines”.

With over a billion streams and 10 New Zealand Music awards, we know there’s plenty of love for the ever-burgeoning sibling duo, so we decided to chat with Caleb to dissect all things about their new album!

Firstly, how are you going with everything? So much has happened since your last album it feels like an eternity ago!

It feels so long ago. Especially with the pandemic. We feel like completely different people now and I’m sure we’re not the only ones.

Having a home studio must have been handy throughout the pandemic, what was your recording process like during that period?

We’d pretty much already finished Space Island by that time. We went into our studio in downtown LA still, to finish producing it all out. We felt like some of the lucky ones having that time to build the world of Space Island and live in it for a while. We’ve just been continuing to write and make more music (as we always do) throughout lockdowns. We have already made so many songs since finishing Space Island, it’s kinda ridiculous.

BROODS home studio

Were there any funky recording techniques you’d like to share?

We don’t usually have huge recording budgets or anything like that so a lot of the time we have to be creative in how we execute certain sounds. For string parts and things it can get really expensive and hard to get exactly what you’re hearing in your head.

We will often go through a lot of orchestral samples and things and then re-harmonise them in Melodyne and chop different pieces overtop of each other. It gives the arrangement a slightly glitchy and warped feel almost like listening to a kaleidoscope. And a lot of the horns in ‘Distance and Drugs’ are just stacks of myself doing my best trombone impression with my mouth haha.

The Farfisa Organ got a bit of a run on the album, was that something you’ve always wanted to work with or do you have other gear that rates higher on your list of dream pieces of equipment to own?

When I first saw the Farfisa it had just been dropped off at one of my favourite vintage music shops, Caveman Vintage in East LA. I fell in love with it instantly, they look like a ’60s Italian sports car and sounds just as nasty!

My favourite feature is the ‘Slalom’ pedal that is basically a pitch bend but gives you the ability to have both hands on the keyboard too. Songs like ‘Distance and Drugs’ and ‘Like A Woman’ really showcase that bendy engine rev of the Farfisa. G and I both have a dream of learning to play the theremin. I think it is the most heartbreaking instrument when Clara Rockmore plays it. I highly recommend going down that rabbit hole on YouTube.

What other kind of equipment were you guys running with?

Our go-to synths on the record were what we had at the studio which was a Juno 60, Prophet Rev2, Moog Voyager and a few more smaller fun machines like the Roland Bassline.

What kind of influences shaped the album, and how?

We listened to a lot of Les Baxter and those arrangements were really inspiring. We got introduced to Sinn Sissamouth and a bunch of other Cambodian psychedelic artists from the ’60s and ’70s. The tone and warmth of those recordings is just so emotional. We were just listening to heaps of different stuff! Solange, Nirvana, UMO, Kazu. We like to cover all our bases and and always be on the lookout for music we’ve never heard.

What songs are you most looking forward to playing live?

The whole new record! We can’t wait to take people to Space Island. This record is very special to us and we’ve been sitting on it waiting to share it for what feels like ages. It’s always exciting to play new stuff. We’ve also reworked some older songs which we are very pumped about.

BROODS new album

Finally, what can fans expect from this album?

A lot of feels! A lot of deep blues and purples that move into yellows and oranges. Wet and sparkly at first and then it evaporates into a warm mist before tucking you into bed.

Space Island comes out on Friday February 18, preorder it here. For Australian and American tour dates and tickets, head here.