Led by vocalist/guitarist Gary Olson, a onetime string stretcher and key inspector at his family's piano factory, indie pop unit the Ladybug Transistor debuted in 1996 with the LP Marlborough Farms, titled after Olson's Brooklyn-area home recording studio. After a lineup change that left only Olson and drummer Edward Powers remaining from the Ladybug Transistor's original roster, Saturnine guitarist Jennifer Baron and her bassist brother Jeff were recruited prior to recording 1997's Beverly Atonale, issued on Merge. After completing the LP, Powers exited and was replaced by Individual Fruit Pie drummer San Fadyl. The group's wonderful third album, The Albemarle Sound, which featured new member Sasha Bell on keyboards and vocals, followed in 1999. Both Bell and Jeff Baron were also members of neo-psych band the Essex Green at this time, as well as the alt-country outfit the Sixth Great Lake.