Supporting the release of their self-titled EP, the fresh-faced duo Broods brought the cool kids out for a swaying beats and retro looks. In their second appearance in San Francisco in as many months, the New Zealand Duo played to an intimate sold out crowd at The Independent.
The night began with an eyebrow-arching performance by L.A. songstress (and all around badass) Meg Myers. Wearing a loose fitting black blouse and dangerously cut black chonies, Myers swam through anguish and seduction as she churned out tunes, alternating between guitar and bass with cuts off her new EP, Make a Shadow.
With a legitimate backing band to support (including an electric cellist), it was hard to avoid the collective hypnosis of Myers’ set which included the weighty track, “Heart Heart Head,” where Myers dramatically queried “How do I get off on the weekend?” The young crowd followed intently as she sang with poise, bracing for combustion, earning her a rush to the merch table following the set.
Broods – appearing to be barely passed prom – hit the stage shortly after 10PM accompanied by a young drummer with a cool pompadour hair-do, immediately morphing the soundscape into a moody labyrinth with the ambient “Never Gonna Change.”
Multi-instrumentalist Caleb donned an 80’s black and white football jersey adorned with the word ‘KING,’ and took up position behind a station of synths and keyboards. Lead singer Georgia wafted back and forth across the stage, eyes toward the ceiling, feigning delicate detachment for effect. She swayed from behind a Spice-Girls era outfit, complete with open-toed platforms, Sailor Moon shorts, and animal print top, singing “I hate that I’m always so young.”
The cherub-faced siblings displayed their absolute comfort on stage as they effortlessly rode into the set, not even addressing the audience until their third song of the eve, the uptempo “Pretty Thing.”
From behind the keys opposite brother, Caleb, the 19 year old Georgia offered a silky “Hello San Francisco.” The crowd swooned.
The duo’s sheer talent became apparent as the set progressed. They had the crowd bobbing in a sexy groove with selections off the debut self-titled EP. Caleb – who looks oddly like Ricky from the 80’s outfit, Seona Dancing – stepped out from behind the safety of his keys to deliver a delicate plucking of acoustic strings for the ethereal “Taking You There.” Georgia belted out with impassioned fervor, eyes closed, the range of her strong voice on full display: “Tell me you care,” which garnered loud applause from adoring folks on the floor.
They played several well-received tracks off forthcoming debut album, including “Evergreen,” which hosted a resounding boom boom-clap backing, and a wide open sing-a-long cadence that all smash pop hits are made of.
Midway through the performance, Georgia asked the crowd if she could get a “wee break” for her brother and their drummer. She made her way behind the piano to play an unaccompanied version of new track, “Four Walls,” – an impressive 3 chord tune with sincere, heart-heavy lyrics, which had this guy wondering, ‘How could this young person be singing such a love-lorn song?’ I was a believer.
Caleb re-joined the stage and after a few more poppy jams, the group finally let out their fan-favorite track “Bridges,” that birthed their following on the interwebs. A revisit to the easy-listening approach of Imogen Heap with more contemporary backing grooves, perfect for shower singing, head bobbing, and the open road on a nighttime highway.
“San Francisco is by far one of our favorite stops,” the demure Caleb professed.
At The Independent, Broods rode into that nocturnal basin where duos like the XX and Daughter graze. And with the backing from NZ production wizard, Joel Little (Lorde), the future looks well lit for their fresh faces.