by Big Flowers
God Dad Bod depicts the modern sense of home
One of the most powerful things in this life is the bond found in family, the things that bring oxytocin around and make us feel held. One of the most contemporarily human things to exhibit is intimacy, seeking out the things that elicit happiness and comfort within a rather rigid lifestyle. In family, we find a deeper understanding of self, worth, love and reason, and all of this is evident within Nelson Bandela’s most recent release, God Dad Bod. From a creative who has touched style after style, effortlessly shapeshifting into the ideal form of what feels right, this release acts as the much-needed visit home from all those travels. The album spans an esoteric but familiar soundscape, with a tracklist that highlights so many integral pieces of modern music such as Pink SIifu, Liv.e, MNDSGN. Each track feels like a staple of nostalgic interior design: corduroy couches, funk love ballads, distressed wood frames containing a still-living paint. With hands full via his recent fatherhood, Nelson manages to portray the most honest and direct form of himself, as a mirror for the listener to reflect their own prides, failures and other things to confide with family. All of it is here, present, bare and untouched by capital intent. The moments when nobody else was looking and you just danced because you felt like dancing, the crushing anvil of financial burden, the misty ambiguity of future endeavors, the ever—returning seat at someone else’s table to eat. Each sentiment of how unsure we all always are, within family, they are always given a chance to be washed, refined, and resolved. Nelson two-steps through every trial and tribulation that life may have presented, bringing him cheerful and evergreen to God Dad Bod.
One of the most evident things about this album (to me) is the illustration of a process of becoming a new part of a new family. Being God Dad Bod, there is a formation of faith in self, an acceptance in living for something greater than yourself, not only because you need to, but because you actually have to. Being a product of several years of work, this album spans the entirety of Nelson’s journey with fatherhood. You hear the frenetic moments fueled by a vacancy of sleep, but still playing on. You hear the intimacy of sharing instruments with an infant, and letting them find music alongside. You hear the crayon press against the wall again, marking the ascent of how tall we can grow this damn thing. At the end of it all, the warm, funky and charismatic soundtrack of familial healing that is God Dad Bod depicts a man at his most wholesome. Opposing endeavors of the past injected with concept such as Nelson’s project as Djay TeknoMustard this release distorts no image of the young and evolving creative in his home, surrounded by the things he loves. This is also shown through the collaborators present, all people that Nelson has shared the act of creation with in the past, another sort of family. The stuttered syncopation bounces from room to room, bassy, heady, relaxing with the sunset coming through the windows. It’s natural, it’s beautiful, it’s religious in an internal way, and by all intents and purposes it’s reality. This album is what family feels like to someone, and therefore it can teach you something about the understanding of your own, and how to grow into a more functional member of microcosms surrounding. With every step you become a new you, and this album walks with you on that transformation.
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