Although their audience never extended beyond a small cult following, the Seattle indie folk band Carissa's Wierd (yes, that's how they spelled it) helped pave the way for a number of acoustic bands partially inspired by British and American folk-rock of the '60s and '70s, from Joanna Newsom to the Decemberists. Splitting suddenly in 2003 after an eight-year tenure, the group splintered into several factions. Singer Jenn Ghetto started the lo-fi D.I.Y. project S, drummer Sera Cahoone opted for an alt-country solo career, and guitarists Mat Brooke and Ben Bridwell formed the indie rock outfit Band of Horses. Following the release of their Sub Pop debut, Everything All the Time, Brooke left Band of Horses (which was primarily Bridwell's project) to form his own band. At first called simply "Archives," but quickly renamed Grand Archives, the new band featured Brooke on guitar and vocals backed by bassist Jeff Montano (the New Mexicans), guitarist Curtis Hall (the Jeunes), multi-instrumentalist Ron Lewis (who maintained a solo career under the name Ghost Stories), and drummer Thomas Wright.
With a sound inspired by such '70s acts as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and the Eagles (complete with multi-part harmonies), Grand Archives made their live debut during the spring of 2007, opening for Brooke's former bandmate Cahoone at a Seattle venue. They subsequently toured with Modest Mouse while preparing their self-titled debut album for Sub Pop, which the label released in February 2008. Keep in Mind Frankenstein followed one year later, featuring a similarly harmony-rich sound as its predecessor. ~ Stewart Mason