Madison, WI, emo trio Rainer Maria emerged in 1995 from the ashes of another poetically inclined local combo, Ezra Pound, reuniting singer/guitarist Kyle Fischer and drummer William Kuehn. Enlisting singer/bassist Caithlin De Marrais, within six weeks Rainer Maria recorded their first demo cassette, quickly selling out all 350 copies. Following a handful of compilation appearances, the group resurfaced in 1996 with a self-titled EP on Polyvinyl; the single "New York: 1955" appeared in early 1997, heralding a shift toward the more subtle melodicism of the full-length Past Worn Searching. Absent throughout 1998, a year later Rainer Maria returned with both the full-length Look Now Look Again and the EP Atlantic. A Better Version of Me arrived in early 2001.
Within the next two years, the band would tally nearly 80,000 records sold worldwide. Rainer Maria's sweet indie rock was contagious and their fan base never lacked enthusiasm. Long Knives Drawn, which appeared in January 2003, marked Rainer Maria's slickest effort yet and was a sure challenge to their rock & roll peers. The band's first ever CD/DVD combo, Anyone in Love with You (Already Knows), was released in March 2004. The double-disc set included various live cuts from Rainer Maria's touring days and live footage from a show in Chapel Hill, NC, from their 2003 tour. In 2006, the band moved to Grunion Records and released Catastrophe Keeps Us Together. Unfortunately, that album's title didn't hold true, and after final shows that December, Rainer Maria called it quits.