Scrappy Welsh noise rock trio Mclusky was one of the bright spots in the British indie scene's post-Brit-pop hangover, releasing three appealingly noisy albums, 2000's My Pain and Sadness Is More Sad and Painful Than Yours, 2002's Mclusky Do Dallas, and 2005's The Difference Between Me and You Is That I'm Not on Fire, before an acrimonious split in 2005, apparently due to intra-band tensions due to an incident on the trio's 2004 American tour where the band's van and equipment were stolen. During the same period, Welsh electro-punks Jarcrew released two albums, 2002's Breakdance Euphoria Kids and 2003's Jarcrew, before also splitting in early 2005, reportedly due to the drummer finding religion. While Mclusky bassist Jon Chapple went off to form Shooting at Unarmed Men, the trio's remaining members, singer and guitarist Andrew Falkous and drummer Jack Egglestone, hooked up with Jarcrew singer and keyboardist Kelson Mathias and bassist Hywel Evans to form a new fusion of the two bands.
Evans quickly left to start his own group, with Mathias moving over to bass, and after experimenting with a variety of tongue-in-cheek names, the remaining trio debuted as Future of the Left in the fall of 2006. Remaining with Mclusky's label, Too Pure Records, Future of the Left made their recorded bow with a double A-sided single, "Fingers Become Thumbs" and "The Lord Hates a Coward," in January 2007. Two more singles, "A Dead Enemy Always Smells Good" and "Small Bones Small Bodies," followed in May and September. Future of the Left's debut album, Curses, was released in the fall of 2007. A live album, 2008's Last Night I Saved Her from Vampires, became the band's 4AD debut; early the following year, the single "The Hope That House Built" signaled Future of the Left's heavier attack on their second album, Travels with Myself and Another, which arrived in summer 2009.