Nostalgia for the present. Much like the emotionally intricate work of contemporaries such as Bob Moses and Jamie xx, the music Godford creates evokes the romance of late nights, last nights, and the memory of what just came before. His debut record NBP captures that lightning in a bottle, peaking feeling where life is never the same since. A place that withstands time, the chance to revisit only by pressing play.
NBP is a record that longs even further for a past none of us will get a chance to experience. In a time where terms like “influencer” and “reality” are intertwined with multiple meanings, Godford’s music lends itself to the moment where the world was seen through open eyes as opposed to the lens of a camera. While social media can feel like an inescapable hall of mirrors, the producer prefers to remain anonymous not to dredge up any sort of industry hype, but instead offering up a direct line to his true self through the exploration of the real emotions of his music, a language beyond borders.
Fashioned together on a shoestring budget with limited access to phone and internet between the countryside in France and Godford’s home studio in Paris, the record reflects these differing environments, and the real people within them. Without projecting any sort of chosen identity online, NBP takes a deep dive through an immersive world of characters from his own life. “An album is a way to propose a journey,” he recalls, and every vocal featured on the record is an electronically distorted memo that flits between the artist’s own narration and that of his friends. “Everyone feels comfortable at the end because it’s not their real voice,” Godford explains, allowing in that small window an opportunity to convey and reveal their truest selves. Indeed, this purposeful obscurity also allows listeners to forge the strongest connections of all: drawing their own associations of songs from NBP to soundtrack the world they live in. “My biggest wish would be for my songs to be a time marker of someone's life,” Godford emphasizes, to build that close relationship that is based on sentiment, rather than perception.
Godford’s search for belonging has always extended to something greater than himself, as well as exploring the fact that in between spaces is where he feels most at home. One such safe haven remains the club, where being alone still means coming together (“I saw you alone”), but he’s part of a new wave of musicians who adhere to the notion that party music doesn’t discount emotional vulnerability: “I consider my music as electronic but which is not directly intended for clubs.” Instead, he shines a spotlight on the concept of the “indie rave”: with more than a passing indebtedness to the alternative scene and it’s acceptance of freely expressing emotion, Godford utilizes his ability to interweave different dimensions of sound to build past the skeletal elements of behind-the-scenes production to something more fully-formed and unmistakably present.
From the fluttering future garage of title track “Non Binary Place” to the trance-imbued, stuttering synthesizer of previous single “Blue” and soaring, hands-in-the-air pop of “Fear”, there’s a patchwork of call-and-returns that culminate in ultimate track “Saw You,” a flickering, understated last song of the night anthem that recalls the hopeful exposure as all the lights come back on. These not quite human echoes that trace footfalls throughout the record resonate like steps on the dance floor, eventually leading back to one another. There’s romance in this auto-tuned melancholy: a strange comfort in the company of strangers, the idea that there’s something greater out there, despite everything: a better world, one that transcends explanation.