Vocalist/banjoist Sam Simkoff leads the indie rock collective Le Loup, whose six members combine varied instruments and full-band harmonies to create an orchestrated, experimental sound. Simkoff spent the latter half of 2006 indoors, using his home computer to record the music that would soon constitute Le Loup's debut album. Featuring hypnotic loops, banjo riffs, and lyrics inspired by Dante's Inferno, the songs attracted the attention of several other Washington, D.C., residents. By January, Simkoff had assembled an expansive lineup comprised of Jim Thomson (guitar), May Tabol (guitar), Robert Sahm (percussion), Dan Ryan (bass, percussion), Nicole Keenan (keyboards, French horn), Mike Ferguson (guitar), and intermittent member Christian Ervin (programming, guitar). The new band immediately attracted attention from Sub Pop Records, whose founder, Jonathan Poneman, flew east to attend one of Le Loup's earliest shows. By spring 2007, Le Loup had signed with the Sub Pop imprint Hardly Art, becoming the second band on the upstart label's roster.