Born in Nelson, New Zealand, Caleb and Georgia Nott have performed together since childhood. They grew up in a musical family with three other siblings, going along with their parents to performances. As of January 2014, Caleb is 21 years old and Georgia is 19. They won a talent competition at Richmond Mall, "Richmond's Got Talent", as teenagers in 2010. While attending Garin College, they were members of the indie rock band, The Peasants, who won the Smokefreerockquest music competition in 2011. The band split in late-2012, shortly after winning a grant from NZ On Air. Georgia began studying popular music at the University of Auckland. She and her brother dropped out of university to pursue Broods.
Broods was formed in Auckland in early 2013. The brother-sister project began collaborating with music producer Joel Little, whom they met as a judge at the 2011 Smokefreerockquest. He produced Lorde's 2013 hit single, "Royals". While considering names for the band, their manager suggested Broods.The band liked the double meaning, relating to family and a feeling of brooding in their music. They released their debut single, "Bridges", online in October 2013. The song was picked up by Idolator and other music blogs, earning over 200,000 streams in a week. MTV described the track as "a bittersweet synth-pop echo chamber". "Bridges" debuted at No. 8 in the New Zealand single chart in January 2014, and was chosen as the U.S. iTunes Store single of the week in February 2014.
Broods signed with Capitol Records worldwide and Polydor in the UK and Europe in December 2013. Their song, "Never Gonna Change", was made available for streaming in anticipation of their debut EP, Broods, which was released on 30 January 2014. The band made their debut U.S. performance at Bardot in Hollywood, California on 24 February 2014. They debuted in the UK at London's Notting Hill Arts Club on 5 March 2014, and toured briefly with Haim. They toured North America, then Australia in support of Ellie Goulding, and returned to the U.S., supporting Sam Smith.
Broods released their debut album, Evergreen, on 22 August 2014, which debuted at No. 1 on the New Zealand album chart.They were nominated for Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Single of the Year, and People's Choice Award at the 2014 New Zealand Music Awards, as well as an APRA Silver Scroll Award for the single "Bridges".