The Dublin-based indie band Joan of Arse came together in 1996. Comprised of Shane McGrath, Joss "Joskuld the Chocolate" Morkens, Greg "Gumbo" Barrett, and Greg "The Bearded Lady" Hackett, Joan of Arse became popular in and around the U.K. indie scene with their debut single "Le Remusement Triste et Lent De La Queve D'un Vieux Chien" in 1997. Their star power exploded two years later thanks to a deal with Julius Geezer/Scientific Laboratories. Joan of Arse released their first studio full-length, Lost at Sea, in July 1999; the album went on to earn an Album of the Year nomination in Hot Press. John Peel, Dave Fanning, and XFM's John Kennedy put Joan of Arse into rotation as well.
Joan of Arse continued to record into the new millennium. After playing Irish dates with the likes of
Jim O'Rourke, Grandaddy, Low, and Bonnie Prince Paul, the band issued the Unwanted Gift EP in spring 2001. Several months later, Joan of Arse traveled to America to work with producer Steve Albini for the follow-up to Lost at Sea. The band's second album, Distant Hearts, A Little Closer was recorded at Albini's Electrical Studio in Chicago. It appeared on Flameshovel Records in fall 2002. ~ MacKenzie Wilson, Rovi