It’s been a long ride for electro-pop duo BROODS. Since their knockout debut back in 2013, the siblings have managed to maintain their place as one of New Zealand’s most successful acts, and it’s not hard to see why. Through glimmering synths and shiny, curated visuals, the two step in and out of fantasy worlds like it’s easy. Their latest world? A magical sci-fi-induced wonderland called Space Island.
Back in NZ and ready to embark on their new journey, we caught up with BROODS (more specifically Georgia) to see how it’s all going, and just what we can expect from their latest project Space Island. From the underlying theme of grief and loss to the perfectly manicured reverie, the album is gearing up to be the duo’s best yet. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
Explain a bit about the world you’ve created with Space Island, what does it mean to each of you?
The name Space Island came to us in a writing session. We were writing the last track on the album ‘If You Fall in Love’, playing around with lasers and slide guitars, when Caleb said “This is like… Space Island.” It just kinda became a thing from then on and we carried it through the rest of the process of finishing the record. It just evolved really naturally into this concept of Space Island being a place you go after something really heavy [happens], like a life changing loss. It became a fantasy world to hide in or escape to for us, and then a place to heal and recover. We want the album to be that for other people too.
Why do you think the connection between visuals and music is so important?
The visuals were our chance to play with sci-fi and magic. Often futuristic or magical worlds are telling stories about things that are a lot closer to home than you’d except. It’s a way of getting into the really heavy and personal stuff in the safety of fiction. We needed that after writing a whole record about grief. It was really cathartic to film it and it took us into nature, a place where grief can be really supported and held. Music and film really are like best friends that take one another to a whole new level.
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Space Island deals with the idea of grief and loss, a theme I think everyone can relate to thanks to these past few years. What message do you hope people take away from the album?
I just want people to feel their feelings without judging themselves. Loss and grief can tend to hold a mirror up to you and your own impermanence, which is really uncomfortable but necessary. We are given an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and how to take responsibility for our own lives. It gives us a chance to open up more or close further and I just want this record to encourage people to do the former. It’s hard to keep your heart open but it is worth it.
How do you think your music-making process as siblings has evolved over the years?
I think we have just broadened our vocabulary inside the studio and in our own sibling language. We have learned to give one another more space to express ourselves as individuals too. Because, at the end of the day, the reason we make music is to put our feelings and experiences somewhere, and transmute it into something that helps us deal with the hard s**t.
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Do you find it easy to share ideas with one another, or are you each other’s biggest critics?
We are each other’s biggest cheerleaders. I think that’s one of the reasons we’re still doing it. There have been plenty of moments along the way where it’s felt too hard to carry on or too overwhelming. This lifestyle has a tendency to be everything all at once, or nothing. We have times where it’s all happening and we’re sleep deprived and overwhelmed, and then long stints of nothing really happening for a while and having to search a bit for our motivation. We ward off one another’s self-doubt in those times and share the load in the busy times.
Your latest tracks ‘Piece Of My Mind’ and ‘Heartbreak’ connect to the same story, can we expect that for the rest of the album?
The whole album follows this theme of dealing with loss after a breakup. It just kinda takes you through what it felt like for me. I hope other people relate to it for my own sake, ha!
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Talk me through the making of the video for ‘Piece Of My Mind’, what’s the story behind that track and what was the inspiration for the visuals?
‘Piece Of My Mind’ is the first stage (if you will) of my own experiences of loss. I tend to dive into denial because the feelings are too big to feel all at once and this is just my account of doing that. Getting a bit manic and running away from myself a bit. The video is just an extreme version of what was happening in my head. Struggling to stay present and time/space travelling until I find a safe place to face my s**t.
How would you say electronic music has developed since your debut in 2013?
It’s evolving constantly! And it’s awesome. I love that music has become more and more limitless and maybe that’s a reflection of our modern world in a way. It’s always exciting to see how music evolves with humans and technology. The library is ever expanding and the things that inspire and influence us are always changing and shifting and growing.
If you could’ve had anyone write a track on Space Island, who would it be?
Kazu Makino. Her album Adult Baby really f****d us up in the best way and her show was the best show I’ve ever been to in my life. Her music sounds like the feeling of being surrounded by nature or something. It makes my heart feel like it’s growing.
Lastly, what are you most excited for fans to see with this new BROODS era?
All of it! We’ve had the gift of time, due to the pandemic, to pay close attention to every detail in a way that we’ve never quite been able to do before. Building this record and a world around it was mostly for our own comfort, at the time, but now we get to invite people in with each song and video and photo and show. It’s exciting and all we wanna do is share it.
BROODS’ fourth studio album ‘Space Island’ will arrive earthside Feb 18. Catch them touring NZ Feb/March here.
Pre-order Space Island here!