After Rilo Kiley released The Execution of All Things in October 2002, the band's two co-founders took some time off to focus on different side projects. Jenny Lewis recorded with the Postal Service and toured in support of the band's gold-selling Give Up, while Blake Sennett formed the Elected with guitarist Mike Bloom, original Ozma bassist Daniel Brummel, and Rilo Kiley's own drummer, Jason Boesel. With a twangy indie rock sound that targeted alt-country and Rilo Kiley fans alike, the Elected signed with Sub Pop and released their debut album in early 2004. Unlike Rilo Kiley's albums, which were co-written by Sennett and Lewis but tended to focus on the latter's voice, Me First featured Sennett in the frontman role.
Two years later, with another Rilo Kiley album (More Adventurous) in the vault, Sennett resumed things with the Elected. Sun, Sun, Sun, a collection of summery pop/rock songs that evoked the West Coast, marked the band's second release for Sub Pop in 2006. Jenny Lewis released her first solo record that same year, and Rilo Kiley issued one final album -- their major-label debut, 2007's Under the Blacklight -- before taking the longest hiatus of the band's career. Sennett quit music during the interim and focused on cinema instead. While working on a script for his own short film, Jason Cupp (who'd mixed Sun, Sun, Sun several years prior) convinced Sennett to agree to an impromptu recording session, which wound up yielding several new songs. Inspired, Sennett resurrected the Elected, shuffled its lineup, signed with Vagrant Records, and released the band's third album, 2011's Bury Me in My Rings.