Rising from the ashes of a basement band that never saw the light of day, Nicole Barille and Sam Meister began experimenting with a sound based on minimalist instrumentation and the rigid dichotomy of soft vs. loud and masculine vs. feminine. Within a year, the two released their first EP, Echoes on the Ground, and were touring the regional circuit. Their second EP, self-titled (Mr. Gnome), was released in November of 2006 and the two, having hooked up with Lost Barrio Artists, a booking agency based out of Tucson, Arizona, now found themselves on the national circuit. After completing their first two national tours, Barille and Meister found it hard to go back to the daily grind and felt an immediate urgency to continue traveling the countryside.
With the road calling, Nicole and Sam ditched their belongings in a storage space and temporarily parted ways with the midwest. Mr. Gnome, an officially homeless band, began touring the United States, living out of a van and sleeping on random couches for the second part of 2007. With a handful of new material in their setlist, the two used practice spots along the way to complete the writing of their new creation and by the force of their journey, discovered both Larry Crane's Jackpot Studios (Elliott Smith, Cat Power, The Shins, The Decemberists) in Portland, Oregon and Craig Schumacher's Wavelab Studios (Calexico, DeVotchka, Neko Case, Animal Collective, Iron and Wine) in Tucson, Arizona where they recorded their first full-length album with engineers Kendra Lynn, and Chris Schultz. Mr. Gnome headed back to Cleveland to put the finishing touches on their album at Ante Up Audio (Bone Thugs N' Harmony, Tori Amos, Guided By Voices) working with Michael Seifert. The album was then mixed at Butch Vig's Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin by Beau Sorenson (Death Cab for Cutie).