Bridging post-punk and half-tuneful indie pop, Glasgow's We Were Promised Jetpacks established themselves with a series of well-regarded albums on Britain's Fat Cat Records, including 2011's dynamic In the Pit of the Stomach, which marked their first entry onto the U.K. charts. The group toured rigorously over the next several years, releasing one more album for Fat Cat before switching to Big Scary Monsters for 2018's more mature The More I Sleep, the Less I Dream.
Vocalist/guitarist Adam Thompson, guitarist Michael Palmer, bassist Sean Smith, and drummer Darren Lackie formed the band in 2003 while attending an Edinburgh high school, where they won a battle-of-the-bands contest with their very first gig. After graduation, We Were Promised Jetpacks relocated to Glasgow, and their sound matured as well, moving from simple song structures and clean guitars to a more ambitious, anthemic approach. They were also inspired by fellow Glaswegians the Twilight Sad and Frightened Rabbit, and these influences could be heard on the three-song demo the band recorded, which received airplay on the BBC, XFM, and Q Radio in the U.K. and KEXP in the United States. In 2008, We Were Promised Jetpacks toured as Frightened Rabbit's opening act; that year, they were signed by Fat Cat Records (also home to both Frightened Rabbit and the Twilight Sad).
In 2009, We Were Promised Jetpacks released two singles, Quiet Little Voices and Roll Up Your Sleeves, before their full-length These Four Walls arrived that summer. They followed up the next year with the EP The Last Place You'll Look, which featured some unreleased tracks and more orchestral rearrangements of some of the songs from their previous album. In 2011, the band returned with another full-length effort, the more driving In the Pit of the Stomach. While they toured in support of the album, they recorded E Rey: Live in Philadelphia, a live album named after the band's tour manager that was released in early 2014. During that time, they also recorded their third album, Unravelling, with producer Paul Savage, which arrived in October 2014. Shortly before the album's release, We Were Promised Jetpacks added multi-instrumentalist Stuart McGachan, who acted as the band's auxiliary member until 2015.