The Features formed in the small town of Sparta, Tennessee in 1996; by the following year, they had released their debut EP. The eponymous effort showcased the band's love for new wave and quirky pop. The departure of the band's second guitarist meant that retro keyboards like the Moog and the Hammond B-3 took on a greater role in filling out the band's sound -- and eventually went on to define it. A handful of U.K. releases followed before Fierce Panda released The Beginning in 2003. With a slightly amended track listing, The Beginning was released in the States by Universal in 2004.