BOYO—the artist moniker of LA-based multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Robert Tilden (they/them)—today shared the video for “Ghost Noise,” a propelling and buoyant standout off their latest album Alone Together In Los Angeles, released in December 2020 via Park the Van Records. “This animated video for ‘Ghost Noise’ is both inspired by and an homage to classic anime like Cowboy Bebop, Akira, Samurai Champloo, Fullmetal Alchemist and more,” explains video creator Corey Watson. “BOYO and I had been discussing making a series of anime videos with looping scenes inspired by different classic animes at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, but it never fully bloomed to fruition. This video is the result of all of those previous late night ideas merged into one.”
Last month, BOYO performed songs from Alone Together In Los Angeles via SPIN’s Twitch channel.
Alone Together In Los Angeles—which earned praise from FLOOD Magazine (track by track feature), Buzzbands.la, and AllMusic, among others—is a companion album to June 2020’s Where Have All My Friends Gone?, which gave us a glimpse into the darker side of BOYO’s psyche as they exposed the loneliness and pain caused by their 2017 health scare. Tilden was eventually diagnosed with and treated for an acute form of frontal lobe epilepsy, but the intense fear and uncertainty of that year resulted in a period of self-isolation during which most of Where Have All My Friends Gone? was written and recorded. That album was an exercise in catharsis—it was the button that needed pressing to disengage the boosters. Alone Together in Los Angeles reunites us with Tilden’s brighter side.
Both albums highlight Tilden’s impressive growth as a songwriter and range as a musician. These songs were all born around the same time and the lyrics tackle equally complex feelings, but the music of Alone Together in Los Angeles has more groove, more funk, and a touch more whimsy. While Where Have All My Friends Gone? was influenced by the lush melancholy of songwriters like Bradford Cox (Deerhunter/Atlas Sound) and Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse), Alone Together in Los Angeles finds inspiration in the back-and-forth piano and guitar stylings of John and Yoko’s Plastic Ono Band and the playful, compressed production of hip-hop luminary Madlib.