BOYO’s 2020 album, Where Have All My Friends Gone?, and its titular phrase reflect the sentiments of loss, isolation, and confusion the Los Angeles-based and bred multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Robert Tilden experienced while a 2017 health scare turned his world upside down. Just as his career was beginning to pick up speed, following a handful of years making self-released tapes, singles, EPs, and a pair of well-received full-lengths (including his 2016 debut LP Control), Tilden began experiencing random, unexplained seizures and spent more than a year under the care of specialists who experimented with different powerful medications for an undiagnosed brain condition, leaving his career—and health—in question.
In 2018, Tilden was finally diagnosed with an acute form of frontal lobe epilepsy, was prescribed the right daily regimen of pills, and has been free of seizures ever since. Slowly, life became less of a daily crisis, but the experience left him alienated by medically-induced, uncontrollable mood shifts. The isolation had taken its toll. Finding himself alone for much of the time, Tilden seized the opportunity to make a record entirely on his own. Working mostly in his bedroom, he found comfort in the work of songwriters like Bradford Cox (Deerhunter/Atlas Sound) and Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse). Fusing those artists’ ability to turn the bleak into beauty with his own newfound focus on songwriting and production, the foundation of Where Have All My Friends Gone? was formed.
A breakup, a scrapped album, a sold-out tour, kidney stones, and collaborative songwriting are all the genesis of BOYO's funky, psychedelic new LP, Echoes Like Memories (2022). After his relationship's romance faded, Rob Tilden (BOYO) embarked on a tour with bedroom-pop contemporaries Luna Luna in November/December of 2021: playing sold-out shows on the West Coast and in the South, reinvigorating Tilden's love of playing more 'upbeat and funky tunes' that get a crowd moving. The only problem was, he had already completed an album to be released in March of 2022 and it was full of depressing, meditative emo songs that Tilden felt less and less connected to. With only a month to turn in what he envisioned as a "short, poppy batch of greatest hits" Tilden holed up in his usual basement studio now equipped with slightly better gear and a reel-to-reel tape machine. With the songwriting and arrangement help of his live bandmate Hudson Buckley on half of the songs, the record took shape over the course of three weeks. The momentum couldn't be stopped by bouts of insomnia, a rough round of kidney stones from dehydration, and a false COVID-19 positive from a bum home test.