formed as a result of Jeff Mueller
and Jason Noble
writing and recording music for the NPR program "This American Life." The two met in 1996 and were joined a year later by Kyle Crabtree
, making the band complete. The three took the band's name from a novel by E. Annie Proulx, and released their first record, Save Everything
, in the summer of 1997. They followed up the album a year later, in May, with a split EP CD with Metroshifter. Three years later, in 2001, Shipping News
released their second full-length album, Very Soon, and in Pleasant Company
. The album was written over a two and half year period and recorded in Kentucky and Pennsylvania. Three EPs - RMSN EP 1: Carrier, RMSN EP 2: Sickening Bridge and RMSN EP 3: Variegated - were released between fall 2001 and fall 2002. Several months later, the band issued a collection of those EPs with three brand new tracks under Three Four.