Things have moved pretty fast for siblings Caleb and Georgia Nott. The two Kiwis from New Zealand's South Island come from a deeply musical family and their ambitions have been apparent since their days of teenage talent shows and an early band called the Peasants, but from the time they formed Broods at the beginning of 2013, it would take less than a year for their dreamy synth pop single "Bridges" to crack the Top Ten in their home country. The Notts' association with producer Joel Little, whose efforts behind the board helped make an international star out of fellow Kiwi export Lorde, has been widely remarked upon, and his fingerprints are all over both their debut EP and 2014's Evergreen, their first LP for Capitol Records. Similarities between the two young acts are bound to be made, most notably their shared penchant for darkly hued tones and sparse, percussive elements, but Broods' sound is far more dense and layered than Lorde's. The massive hooks and neatly stacked vocals on standouts like "Mother & Father" and the kinetic "L.A.F." showcase the duo's command of enchanting and melodic indie electropop. Like waves crashing on the shore, Little's production is heavily focused on the low end, providing a deep, pulsing throb throughout Evergreen's 11 songs, which take an even more contemplative and wistful tone on the album's second half. Sad, lonesome tracks like "Medicine" and the title cut live in the same frost-covered realm as Lykke Li and Bat for Lashes, often seeming almost too detached. Broods' brand of pop is highly stylized and synthesized, and even Georgia Nott's strong voice sometimes can't break the music's icy, processed sheen. Still, the highlights here are strong and this debut should connect with fans of highly textured, brooding synth pop.
AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger