The Kingsbury Manx emerged in 1999 from the same North Carolina indie rock scene that spawned the Archers of Loaf and Superchunk before them. Bandmembers Ken Stephenson (guitar/vocals), Bill Taylor (guitar/vocals), Ryan Richardson (drums/vocals), and Scott Myers (bass/keyboards) attended middle school together in Greensboro before going separate ways during their college years. Stephenson and Myers enrolled in creative writing studies at Wilmington while Taylor and Richardson both landed at UNC, Chapel Hill. During visits back home, the quartet began writing and recording the music for a demo. The band's break came when Overcoat Recordings owner (and former Thrill Jockey employee) Howard Greynolds heard the tape and agreed to fund their debut.