Broods' "Don't Feed the Pop Monster" on Atlantic Records.

Broods' "Don't Feed the Pop Monster" on Atlantic Records. Credit: Atlantic Records


Don’t Feed the Pop Monster

BOTTOM LINE Stylish synth pop with a dark side

Georgia Nott’s voice is so sweet it takes a while to realize exactly where she’s coming from, especially when it’s surrounded with all these pretty synths.

And that may be the secret weapon for Broods, the New Zealand siblings Georgia and Caleb Nott, on their third album, “Don’t Feed the Pop Monster” (Atlantic).

The Notts still know how to trot out an upbeat banger, as they do with the first single, “Peach,” which starts out quiet and blossoms into a dance party because “everything’s looking peach now.” They return to that feeling in a subtler way on the bouncy good-time “Everything Goes Wow,” as they have on their previous two albums.

But “Don’t Feed the Pop Monster” is most effective when the brother and sister team show off their ambitions. On the swaggering “Old Dog,” Georgia channels vintage Shirley Manson to deliver lines like “I’m not here just to please. Get that leash off of me.” The defiant “Sucker,” which could fit nicely on Robyn’s last album or with the recent Carly Rae Jepsen singles, may admit “I’m such a sucker for everything,” but it’s clear that’s going to turn into a strength.

On the new single “Falling Apart,” the stacks of Georgia’s vocals may sing mournfully that “it feels like everything’s falling apart,” but taken together they have a strength that signifies only a temporary setback. The Notts say the song was inspired by the division they saw in America following the 2016 presidential election, but wrapping it in soothing synthesizers suggests a happy ending. They return to that idea in “Too Proud,” where Caleb poignantly sings about the stigma of men asking for help in dealing with their emotions, but let the music build to a soaring conclusion.

“Don’t Feed the Pop Monster” shows Broods blooming into a major dance-pop force, one that is far more complicated than simple sugar.

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