Emerging from Chicago's Hyde Park music scene, Alsace Lorraine debuted with "Dreams I Can't Control" in 2000 on the Darla label. Hewson Chen of Vitesse was joined by Paul Francke to make synth pop that imports much of the spacey qualities of his former band; the product is songs that draw heavily on Vitesse's sound, but in a clearly more pop-oriented way. Although their debut song featured Ruth Welte's beautifully melodic vocals, Alsace Lorraine's singing duties have been taken over by Caitlin Brice. The well-received debut track was followed the next year with a second track on the Little Darla sampler series, "Chalk Marks on the Ground." The debut album Through Small Windows appeared shortly after in summer 2001. The group went on tour soon after the album was released, but the tour was cut short when Francke fell into a coma. The band went on hiatus while he recovered, and they only managed to record a few tracks here and there over the course of the next few years. Alsace Lorraine regrouped in 2006 and, with the help of Entre Rios vocalist Isol, they recorded their second full-length album that year. Dark One was released in spring 2007.