Release Date 01/19/2018
(Danger Collective Records) NACC
A lot changed for Robert Tilden over the course of the year leading up to his new record, Me, Again. The aptly titled follow up to his first critical release, Control, was frantically finished just three months after its precursor, but exemplifies far more growth than the album’s naive name suggests. Robert’s personal development has been tracked across the handful of projects he’s performed in since entering Los Angeles’s vibrant DIY scene as a teenager. But after spending the better part of his salad days fronting Bobby T. and the Slackers, opening up for local heroes like Moses Campbell, Surf Curse, and Palm Reader he refocusing his efforts on a new project, BOYO. Now for his second release with Danger Collective Records, Robert has composed a jagged body of work reflecting on everything that has brought him to where he is today.
Like all of the songs he has produced to this day, the tracks that make up Me, Again were conceived during the late hours of the night in cobbled together home studios around Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. Robert taught himself how to record after pirating ProTools on his family computer at 15, and has since persevered through the trials and tribulations of bedroom recording to craft the sound he is now known for. Robert doesn’t labor over his songwriting and recording, much like his LA DIY predecessors, No Age and Ty Segall. Instead, Robert hastily writes and arranges heartfelt track after heartfelt track, amounting to a massive musical output, part of which he and label head Reed Kanter narrowed down to construct Me, Again. The songs that make up the album range from fuzzy ballads like “A Social Death by Proximity (In Hollywood)” to apologetic slow jams like “Haunts.” Each of the tracks give a different glimpse into scenes throughout Robert’s formative years, referencing the sights and sounds of the places he has inhabited as a young adult.
Before releasing 2016’s Control, Robert toured the East Coast with long time friends and collaborators, Girlpool. He had just decided to drop out of Cal Arts, and was actively trying to alter the destructive and lethargic lifestyle he had kept up throughout college. On that tour, while performing bare solo sets in places he’d never been and spending time with friends he hadn’t seen in months, Robert started to form the first few songs for Me, Again. Feeling rejuvenated from the tour, Robert eagerly returned to Los Angeles and started building out the record. He stepped out of his comfort zone by working with bandmate Ruben Radlauer (also of Model/ Actriz) to track the drums on a big chunk of the songs and help determine the pacing for the record. While awkward for Robert at first, the recording method mirrored Robert’s personal discomfort while at a transitional moment in his life, and ultimately allowed for more vulnerability on the record. Robert recalls listening to Built to Spill, Elliott Smith, Helvetia and Deerhunter, who’s collective influences helped to give the album its erratic but polished sound. A few months later, before Control had even been mastered, Me, Again was close to complete.
Since finishing the new album, Robert has been busy playing shows regularly around the West Coast with Surf Curse, Moaning, and Jerry Paper, while quietly anticipating his new release. The album is set to come out on the heels of a split 10 inch BOYO made with Current Joys that’s being put out by Terrible Records and Danger Collective. For Robert, the record marks a new beginning without a complete abandon of his past. Although Me, Again dwells on themes of isolation, addiction, and regret, Robert is enthusiastic about what it got him through, and excited to see where it takes him.