The Canadian indie rock combo Wolf Parade formed in 2003 in Montreal, where the band's first show saw them opening for Arcade Fire. From there, bandmates Dan Boeckner, Spencer Krug, Hadji Bakara, and Arlen Thompson recorded and self-released a four-song EP, followed by a six-song recording in 2004. They eventually gained the attention of songwriter Isaac Brock, who doubled as the frontman of Modest Mouse and an A&R rep for Sub Pop Records. Brock helped the band secure a deal Sub Pop while serving as a stylistic touchstone for Wolf Parade's emerging sound.
In July 2005, the quartet issued a self-titled EP on the label by way of introduction; their debut full-length, Apologies to the Queen Mary, followed in September. It was one of the fall's most anticipated releases, recorded as it was with Brock's help and released amid a critical flurry for such Canadian bands as Broken Social Scene, the Most Serene Republic, and Stars. After considering the title Kissing the Beehive for their follow-up (ultimately dismissed for fear of copyright infringement due to a Jonathan Carroll book by the same name), Wolf Parade issued their sophomore record, At Mount Zoomer, in June 2008.