The Comas formed in Chapel Hill, NC, in March 1998 as a joke country band, a sort of counterweight to the hyped No Depression movement. Before long, however, both the "joke" and the "country" parts of the concept were eliminated, thus allowing the band to develop into a quirky alternative rock outfit. The Comas' respectable 1999 debut, Wave to Make Friends, was composed of sleepy (but not lethargic) indie pop and off-kilter boy-and-girl vocal harmonies, courtesy of co-founders Andrew Herod and Nicole Gehweiler. The band's instrumental canvas proved to be larger and more eclectic than that of the typical indie group, buoying the usual guitars and rhythm section with violin, organ, and creative non-rap samples. Faced with the challenge of labeling such music, the Comas' label billed deemed the sound "stoner pop."