Taking their cues from bands like Pavement, the Grateful Dead, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the Donkeys craft melodic country-rock songs inspired by their state's warm weather and relaxed pace. High-school friends Timothy DeNardo, Anthony Lukens, and Sam Sprague first played together as teenagers, and Jessie Gulati joined the latter two musicians in a band named the Moon and Sixpence soon after graduation.
The musicians eventually banded together as the Donkeys, combining a melodic foundation with elements of classic rock, country, and power pop. The group signed with Antenna Farm Records and issued a self-titled debut in 2004. Leaving Antenna Farm several years later, the Donkeys eventually settled with the Texas-based label Dead Oceans before issuing their 2008 follow-up, Living on the Other Side. Born with Stripes arrived three years later, downplaying the band's twangy past in favor of laid-back pop songs.