Before meeting up, Winterfield had been a member of the band Ghostwood, and Ma had spent time in the Lost Valentinos. The duo spent time developing their sound, and early reviews were good; both the media and fellow bands took a liking to them right away. Jono Ma also branched out into production, working with Foals and composing music for TV.
The duo's debut album, Howlin', was mixed by producer Ewan Pearson and appeared on Marathon Music in early 2013. The album was issued in the US later that year by Mom + Pop Music.