After the 1997 dissolution of Henry's Dress and a brief dalliance with Go Sailor, Amy Linton began fooling around with a four-track and some solo material in a comfortable home studio setting. It turned out she had quite bit to say, and in quite a hooky fashion. The so-named Aislers Set officially debuted with Terrible Things Happen, issued through Slumberland in 1998. While that album was principally a Linton solo effort fleshed out with contributions from talented pals, she had by 2000's The Last Match amassed some actual Aislers. Guitarist/vocalist Wyatt Cusick, bassist Alicia Vanden Heuvel, drummer Yoshi Nakamoto, and keyboardist Jen Cohen were all Bay Area indie scene regulars, with bands like Track Star, #Poundsign#, Scenic Vermont, and the Fairways on their respective resumés.
The Last Match was hailed by critics and fans alike for its pleasant mix of girl group and Phil Spector stylings and impeccable indie leanings; it further established Linton as a singer, guitarist, and producer of considerable talent. The Aislers Set did a series of tours in support of the album, including their first jaunt to Europe. Sporadic gigs and compilation appearances followed, until How I Learned to Write Backwards appeared in February 2003. Suicide Squeeze handled the CD versions; Slumberland was in charge of LPs. Again produced by Linton at home, Backwards was another rousing success for her and the Aislers Set. The band was on the road that summer and early autumn with Yo La Tengo; dates with the Shins followed in November and December. ~ Johnny Loftus, Rovi