"We have to build our own identity outside of 'Lorde and the rest of New Zealand music,'" says the group's Georgia Nott.
"Bridges," the debut single by the brother-sister duo Broods, freezes the listener in his or her tracks from the opening second. Georgia Nott's voice recalls a fragile version of Imogen Heap's -- floating skyward and twisting back down like a maple leaf caught in an autumn breeze -- while the production oscillates between a lonely, three-key piano refrain and a kaleidoscopic alt-pop arrangement. "And we're burning all the bridges now/'Cause it was sink or swim, and I went down/Down, down…," Nott murmurs, before the music of her older brother, Caleb, brings her back up to the surface.
Broods hail from Auckland, New Zealand, just like Lorde. Georgia and Caleb Nott have been working closely with Joel Little, who produced all of Lorde's debut album, "Pure Heroine," and is currently one of the more in-demand pop producers on the planet. Last November, Lorde posted her five-song debut EP, "The Love Club," which included a song titled "Royals," on SoundCloud for free; a month ago, Broods tossed "Bridges" online, and the song has since earned over 200,000 listens for the unsigned pair on SoundCloud. The associations with Lorde are natural -- and like "Royals," Broods' "Bridges" is a startling single that yearns to be heard again and again. But can 19-year-old Georgia and 21-year-old Caleb duplicate the seismic stateside success of their 17-year-old fellow New Zealander, who just spent her seventh straight week atop the U.S. Hot 100 chart with "Royals"?