Ryland Bouchard masterminded the idiosyncratic, experimental indie pop project the Robot Ate Me in 2002. His first album, They Ate Themselves, which was comprised of the kind of drifting, spacy indie pop that nodded to bands like Sparklehorse and the Flaming Lips, was released on Swim Slowly that year. The album made ripples in the indie scene, and the following year found Bouchard on tour backed by David Greenberg, Are-Jay Hoffman, and William Haworth. The Robot Ate Me's sophomore album, 2004's On Vacation, turned out to be Bouchard's final release on Swim Slowly; the album was re-released the following year on 5 Rue Christine the following year. 2005 also heralded the release of Bouchard's third studio album, Carousel Waltz, which was arguably one of Bouchard's most pop-oriented releases to date, offering up delectably restrained indie pop tracks like "Bad Feelings." Bouchard's fourth album, Good World, came out the following year; it found the artist returning to the manic, experimental sound that characterized his pre-Carousel works.