In BROODS’ return to music since their last album in 2019, the group projects their inner world into outer space through Space Island, out now. Turning to songwriting in the wake of heartbreak, lead vocalist Georgia Notts navigates the tumultuous outcomes of her divorce.
With her brother and bandmate, Caleb Notts, the two process grief, love and self-discovery across the album's 10 tracks. Rooted in the uprooting nature of love lost, Space Island builds an ethereal, otherworldly sonic landscape, against which Notts delivers poignant, biting lyrics.
"Kissing electricity, it feels like the real thing to me,” Notts croons over an indie-pop bop in "I Keep," featuring Tove Lo. Space Island feels like both — leaving listeners kissed by the electrifying sound of each song, and tapping into the real emotion behind each word.
The album is an expression of healing. Notts accepts herself and circumstances, moving away from pain and looking inside to find her path as if following the stars. While adding a new layer of complexity to BROODS’s discography, Space Island packages hurt within the danceable, ethereal sound BROODS has cultivated throughout its career.
Stream BROODS’ album, below, with a track-by-track analysis of each song.
"Goodbye World, Hello Space Island"
The opening track and intro to Space Island, this is where we leave the comfort of earth and the known, familiar arms of our current life. Falling, floating or flying through a portal (who knows which one it might be). Though nostalgia is seductive on the precipice of enormous change, there is no stopping the pull into something new, be it scary.
"Piece of My Mind"
Escapism is a helpful tool in the right circumstances, but easily misused. Before you know it you’re nailing your own hands to a table. This song is about the back and forth in that sweet dance with denial that keeps you dizzied in limbo. The feeling of your ass being glued to a plastic horse that keeps spinning as you desperately try to find your family in the crowd, hoping they don’t leave the fair without you.
Most of us rise to the occasion in a crisis. We hold back our tears and laugh through the pain. We hold tightly to the positives and scream "I'm fine!" at the top of our lungs to the dirty mirror in a nightclub bathroom. But our breaking hearts swell and send waves of sorrow, big enough to wipe out our own personal island completely. This song is a reminder to let them come and rebuild a better life after the storms of loss. Thoughtfully and feelingly realign the cosmos of ourselves to gently include this new event in our hearts’ history.
"Distance and Drugs"
Anger is, to me, the heaviest stage of grief to carry. It feels like poison in the bloodstream and it's hard to see a way to cure such an aggressive disease. One thought, one song, one text can send you ejecting from the passenger seat and into space. This song comes from one of those moments. When the text is so irrelevant compared to the visceral reaction in your body. "How could you not understand how hurt I am? How can I still find the capacity to see love in this situation?" Those were the questions I was thinking about when we wrote this song.
Relapse. Over and over. This song came from imagining what it would be like to reincarnate as a moth that continues to burn to death on the same porch lamp in each of its lives. At times it seems ridiculous to see incredible beauty in that. But the cycle of dying and coming back to life to go at it again and again has been my greatest, tough-loving teacher. Like a moth to a flame, we all pine for love. Even when it hurts and we find ourselves cut up, licking our wounds on the floor, something keeps pulling us back up to love. This song is my way of finding peace with that. If I’m going to get fucked up by something, let it be love.
"Like a Woman"
What is a woman? Powerful, intuitive, ever giving, she is like the earth itself. Unpredictable, but always accommodating. But what about when she isn’t empowered to embrace these things? When she is infantilized and barked at to stay small for the sake of someone else’s fragile ego. I wrote this song after feeling like a child, not only in my relationship but in the music industry. After genuinely believing that maybe I was treated that way because I was, in fact, as incapable as a new born baby. But after some time and space, and being around a diverse group of inspiring women, I began to feel my instincts strengthen and my intuition become more powerful. I started to become my own arrow again. And I wrote this song from that place of feeling "Like a Woman."
I wrote this song in dedication to all people who are made to feel crazy and invalid in a time where they need encouragement and support. To anyone who turns away from themselves to please someone else and then finds themself lost. The song itself is written from the perspective of the gas lighter. Though their voice is somewhat tender, the words don’t tell you they still trust you and understand you. When I listen to this song now, I recognize that I have perpetuated this voice in my own head. That I haven’t trusted myself in times when I’ve felt really low or anxious that something wasn’t right. Maybe I wrote this song for a friend or maybe I wrote it for me. I don’t really know, but it's on the album and it’s my favorite song from "Space Island."
"Days Are Passing"
This is a song about nothing. It’s about feeling nothing in the midst of the first lockdown in the beginning of 2020. I stared out the window of our apartment in Echo Park for three weeks and tried my best to convince myself I was somewhere else. The green of spring in LA kept me calm and the soft instrumentals we listened to inspired this track. My partner made the beat and Caleb wrote a bassline, and I sang about feeling like a nothing person that feels nothing. But I could still bob around the apartment and vacuum twice a day to this demo with a smile on my face.
When your heart is broken it can feel alienating. You walk around a house party seven tequilas in, but you don’t feel a buzz and you wonder how everyone is so ok. Until you meet someone who is holding themselves in a similar way and you think "Are you from the same planet as me?" And then you sit next to one another in the corner and get stoned and hold hands and everything feels like it will work out in the end.
"If You Fall In Love"
The final track of Space Island (I imagine that the credits are rolling on the movie at this point), is essentially about psyching yourself up to fall in love again. With a new and slightly scarred outlook on life and love, you look in the mirror, count your flaws, kiss them all and let someone else do the same. You don’t know how or when you’ll feel like you know it's right so you free fall and trust the process. Until the next saga, with love and curiosity, you leave Space Island and rejoin society.
Photography: Jeremy Reynoso and Oscar Keys