Zachary Bennett approached engineer and aspiring producer Dean Marino in 2004 to record some demos for his band Yonder. Marino suggested that the band record the songs at guitarist Adam Evans’s cottage rather than a studio due to the band’s limited budget. The Yonder EP, which featured early versions of the songs “If Only” and “Jesus Freaks,” was the outcome of this three-day session. The EP gave Bennett the freedom to schedule some shows in and around Toronto, leading to the establishment of “Dusty’s Conundrum,” a monthly showcase at Clinton’s Tavern. Bennett was able to test his songs on listeners during this time (2004–2006) as he built a devoted fan base and a somewhat stable band line-up. Adam Evans and Allison Porter both played the fiddle in this.

Bennett contacted Marino once more in 2006 with the goal of recording a “proper album” at Marino’s facility, Chemical Sound. Bennett and Marino, who are both listed as producers on the album, played complementary roles in its creation.

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