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Formed in 2001 when Amoeba Music record store employees and musicians Jel (Jeffrey Logan) and Doseone (Adam Drucker) — who already made up the Anticon band Themselves — started playing with Dax Pierson, clicking almost instantly. Soon they invited woodwind player Marty Dowers, guitarist Jordan Dalrymple, and cellist Alexander Kort — all of whom Pierson had previously played with — to join the group, and Subtle (with Jel on percussion, Pierson on keys and autoharp, among other instruments, and Doseone on vocals) were born. After a couple of 12" releases and some EPs, A New White was released on Lex Records in 2004. Tragedy struck the band in February the next year when their tour van slipped on black ice, paralyzing Pierson from the chest down. Still, Subtle pushed forward, issuing the remix and collaboration EP Wishingbone in 2006 and signing to EMI, which released the group's sophomore full-length, For Hero: For Fool — which included vocal and harmonica work from Pierson — in conjunction with Lex later that same year, with a companion piece, Yell & Ice, out in late 2007. Always prolific, Exiting Arm hit shelves in the spring of 2008.