By TRACEY ROXBURGH
Despite spending 10 months locked down in her adopted home of Los Angeles, Broods lead singer Georgia Nott says 2020 was one of her “favourite years’’ yet.
‘‘It was really powerful.
‘‘Not since I came into the music industry have I had a whole year of sitting still.
‘‘I really got a lot out of it — I just had to learn to be OK with not being super-productive all the time, and be OK with sitting still and sitting with myself and processing things I haven’t had a chance to process yet.
‘‘I just think I really needed, for my own personal reasons, to have a really slow year and it was just kind of forced upon me, so I was like, ‘here it is, here I go, stay inside, alright’.’’
Nott, speaking to Mountain Scene ahead of Broods’ concert with Drax Project at Coronet Peak this weekend, says she arrived back in New Zealand mid-December.
Sunday’s concert will be her last performance in NZ before she hops on the big bird bound again for LA.
Nott and her brother, Caleb, formed Broods early in 2013 — the following year they released their debut EP and their debut album, performed in the US and the UK, toured the US and Australia with Ellie Goulding, had their US TV debut on Late Night with Seth Myers and toured opening for Sam Smith.
Till Covid, Nott says, she hadn’t had time to stop and reflect.
Having released their first song when she was 19 and moved to LA when she was 21, she says she feels like “an 85-year-old woman a lot of the time”.
‘‘So much has happened.’’
The past five-odd years, in particular, have brought plenty of success for Broods — their second album, Conscious, released in 2016, which they worked on with producer Joel Little, includes collabs with Lorde and Tove Lo.
That year they won five NZ Music Awards, opened again for Goulding, appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden and supported Two Door Cinema Club on tour.
They’ve gone on to tour with Tove Lo and Taylor Swift and, in 2019, released their third album, Don’t Feed the Pop Monster.
But it hasn’t all been sunshine and roses.
‘‘Fun fact about us, we’ve been dropped by a label after every single album and just managed to figure it out every time,’’ Nott says.
‘‘Honestly, it’s pretty normal.
‘‘I think when you’re thinking about it on your own you think, ‘oh, I’m a failure, I can’t keep a label’, but then you have a conversation with any other artist and they’re like, ‘I’ve been through four labels, too’.
‘‘It’s super-transient and it doesn’t freak us out any more.
‘‘We’ve got a lot of support from people that actually listen to the music and come to the shows, we just keep doing it for them.’’
Nothing could be truer when it comes to Broods’ latest single, Guilty Love, on which they collaborated with fellow Kiwi muso Ladyhawke (Pip Brown).
Nott says she and her brother met Brown through producer Tommy English, who works with Broods and Ladyhawke, in LA years ago.
She and Brown, who she says is ‘‘one of my favourite people’’, hit it off immediately.
‘‘We had similar outlooks on life and personality types … we found it really easy working together and got down to the nitty-gritty the first session in, man.
‘‘We got a pretty emotional song out of it.’’
Guilty Love, Nott says, stems from their own experiences growing up in the Catholic school system and the way messages delivered to kids stay with them into adulthood.
‘‘For Pip, I know, struggling with accepting her own sexuality was due to being brought up in a really conservative religion.
‘‘But I honestly feel like it’s changing.
‘‘The attitude around the queer community and the LGBTQIA community, in the context of the Catholic church as well, people are starting to realise that inclusivity is the way to go, and everybody’s preaching love.
‘‘So we just wanted to write a song about how shame can be completely healed by the opposite, which is encouragement and love and acceptance.’’
When asked what the reaction to the single, released earlier this month, has been, Nott says it’s ‘‘got some people talking’’.
‘‘Hopefully thinking about things, given them a new perspective, maybe.
‘‘It’s been really fun and I think when your job is to create art, it’s kind of your responsibility to express things that have been difficult for you, personally, that hopefully helps you to connect with people that are feeling a little bit isolated by their shame or their pain.’’
Along with Guilty Love, Georgia and Caleb have also been working on their fourth album which, she says, will be ‘‘the most authentic version of us’’ to date.
‘‘I’m personally more excited-slash-terrified about this album than any one before … I’ll take it as a good sign’’.
She says there’s a chance they’ll play a song off that album this Sunday during what will be their first ever gig in Queenstown — something she’s fizzing about.
‘‘We don’t really get to play many shows at the moment, so when we do it’s really exciting and really fun.
‘‘This will be a bit longer than the ones we’ve been doing over summer, so it gives us a little bit more time to spend with the audience and have an actual hang up there with the crowd, which I’m really excited about.
‘‘Our parents are coming down for that and we’ll have a last hurrah before I head back to LA … and my plants, that are hopefully still alive … so it’ll be really nice.’’
Drax Project and Broods, presented by Corona, Coronet Peak, Sunday, 4pm till 11pm. Tickets, $80 plus booking fee, with transport add-ons available, from The Ticket Fairy