After the quick dissolution of David & David in the mid-'80s, David Baerwald began a solo career, releasing his solo debut, Bedtime Stories, in 1990. As with David & David's sole album, it was an album of deceptively laid-back pop; the calm production and subtle, memorable melodies hid the fact that Baerwald's characters were either inflicting or suffering from emotional pain. It was a triumph, winning raves from critics, but it sold very few copies.
With his second album, 1993's Triage, Baerwald decided to have the music match the message, creating soundscapes that recalled a subdued, more pop-friendly Tom Waits. Again, the critical praise was substantial but the record sold even fewer copies than the first. A follow-up wouldn't be seen for nearly a decade, however; Baerwald took time out to work with other musicians and tweak his playing skills. He joined Sheryl Crow for her monumental Tuesday Night Music Club debut and was later nominated for a Golden Globe for Moulin Rouge's swan song, "Come What May." Finally, Baerwald bounced back with Here Comes the Folk Underground in 2002.