“I THINK through the making of this record we have become completely different people,” says Georgia Nott, one half of New Zealand-born, Los Angeles-based duo Broods.
She’s talking about the third album she’s made with her brother Caleb, the aptly titled Don’t Feed The Pop Monster, which was written with a singular goal in mind: stop overthinking things and embrace your true self.
“We made a point of just completely trusting in ourselves and trusting in each other,” she explains.
From tracks written in a tree hut in Nicaragua to Caleb’s first main vocal, here are Georgia’s track-by-track notes on Don’t Feed The Pop Monster.
‘Sucker’ was originally called ‘Stevie and Sting’ but we changed it so we wouldn’t risk getting sued. We grew up on Sting and
‘Why Do You Believe Me’ is the oldest song on the record. When we go home to see our family and friends we realise that our life seems very extraordinary – and it is most of the time. We’re so fortunate to be able to making art our job, but there are definitely times when its felt like we’re pushing water uphill. I think people are often fascinated by the music industry. The whole brushing shoulders with famous people, and having your face plastered on posters seems very glamorous, I guess. This song kinda gives the insight into how we often feel like we have to humour people when they ask how things are. Like we shouldn’t like any cracks form in the facade.
‘Peach’ is the first song we wrote and instantly thought “this is a single”. Every time we write a record there is that song that breaks the seal in a way, and all the shit you’ve been writing makes sense. This was definitely that track. Not just because it feels huge and is super fun live, but it also sums up the theme of the album perfectly. When the pendulum swings, it swings hard and far. We’ve had to navigate a lot of different life changes through out the making of this record: good and bad.
We wrote ‘Falling Apart’ after the 2016 election here in the States. I remember being at an election party with a cardboard cut out of Hilary Clinton in the corner of the room, topped with pearls and a scarf for the special night. Glasses were clinking and hopes were high, but throughout the night everything just became more and more tense. I think a lot of people were under the impression that their USA wasn’t as divided as it is. It felt like the world was slowing down and slipping off its axis.
One of the first tracks we wrote [for this album]. We wrote it with our good friend Big Taste from New Zealand who we met in the same high school band competition that introduced us to our manager. We’ve known him since I was 16. It’s quite surreal to all be pursuing careers over here in LA all together. Its a very sentimental song to us for this very reason.
‘Dust’ is my favourite on the album. I’d even go as far as to say it’s my favourite song we’ve ever written. I am in the habit of letting myself slip into my own illusions when I find the real world too confronting. When things aren’t feeling right but I don’t know how to fix it, I retreat into my mind to the brink of madness. This song will probably always be relevant to me and I’m glad I have it to remind me to pull back from the edge.
‘Too Proud’ is the first song Caleb has ever sang lead on which is an equal combination of exciting and terrifying for him. Not only is it so personal and emotional for him, but he has never had to come out from behind his fortress of synths and samples before now. We were in Nicaragua for a writing camp and feeling very free and liberated so he thought, “Why don’t I just sing lead on this one?” A brilliant idea. Our fans are so ready to hear Caleb’s voice, especially in such a vulnerable way. I cried so much when he recorded the chorus vocal.
‘To Belong’ is Caleb’s favourite on the album. We worked on this song for over a year from its conception to it’s completion, adding new section and parts overtime. I think it’s one of those songs we could’ve worked on forever and let it become the length of a feature film. I feel like we wrote the whole thing with our eyes closed in a way. We felt and listened for it instead of looking for it. Every time we worked on it we released something new into the song. A new lyric or emotion, or perspective or groove. I feel like there are so many versions of us in this one song.
‘Old Dog’ is the only song on the record that has an official feature. Our friend Elliphant – who we love to the ends of the earth – wrote it with us one afternoon. She came to our house and told us about her idea to write a song about how you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. The concept being that we were old dogs and we didn’t fall for fake treats and dummy throwing sticks. It holds more relevance to me now than when we wrote it. I think as I learn to hold my own more I find it empowers me more.
We wrote ‘Hospitalized’ on the Nicaragua writing camp in a tree hut with Big Taste and Chloe Angelides (you can hear her in the bridge). We’d been talking that morning over breakfast about how some of us on the camp had never broken a bone before but always wondered what it felt like. I myself have never seriously injured myself physically but there have been times I thought it would be easier than my mental health struggles. It pokes fun at my own restlessness, but it’s kind of actually quite depressing if you just read the lyrics as their own thing.
‘Everything Goes (Wow)’ is another one from that camp. Its about finally letting go of that fear of death. There was a moment I felt the only thing I was afraid of was dying. I know that its ridiculous that my only fear is literally the one thing that is certain to happen to me. I realised how stupid it was I guess and let go of that fear through this song.
‘Life After’ is the perfect way to end the record, especially after ‘Everything Goes (Wow)’. It’s our image of heaven, how it would feel to enter the next world to us. I think through the making of this record we have become completely different people. It feels very symbolic that we end the record with songs about death and life after death. We have, in a way, let go of our old selves in this album and made room for the new versions to be born.