The members of Love and Theft found each other in Nashville. Bonded as a trio, Stephen Barker Liles, Eric Gunderson and Brian Bandas wrote songs and rehearsed for six months before stepping out in public to play live. Their tight harmonies and rotating singers made them something distinctly different on the Nashville scene. After a three-song performance at an ASCAP showcase, Love and Theft were signed by Lyric Street/Carolwood Records. Their biggest fan, Taylor Swift, took the threesome on the road for a few dates and helped them establish themselves. Love and Theft's debut, World Wide Open, was released in August 2009 and spawned the breezy hit "Runaway."