In the wake of Godspeed You Black Emperor!'s international success, many Montreal post-rock groups tried their chance, but none sounded as sincere and promising as Below the Sea. With members stretched between Montreal and Quebec City, this trio traded GYBE!'s pathos for a softer kind of melancholia more associated with shoegazing and added a touch of ambient electronics. Their first album came out in 2000.
In the late 1990s, Patrick Lacharité (guitar, sampler, keyboards), Mathieu Lévesque (bass), and Pascal Asselin (drums) all volunteered writing for emoRAGEi, a modern rock fanzine based in Laval near Montreal. They started to play together inspired by the music of Mogwai, Labradford, and of course local stars GYBE!, but by then Asselin was living in Quebec City so things moved slowly and almost accidentally. After Lacharité played a demo of the band on his college radio show, he got a phone call from a listener offering to lend him a 8-track tape recorder. The group assembled The Loss of Our Winter out of jams and naturally turned for support to Jeff Rioux, the founder of emoRAGEi who was about to launch his record label Where Are My Records. The group's debut came out in 2000, garnering mitigated but generally favorable reviews, enough to secure a European release on the label Alice in Wonder.
A split 10" with Micro:mega paved the way for a collaboration with Sylvain Chauveau, while Asselin formed the duo Glider with Billy Mahonie guitarist Gavin Baker. In the end of 2001, Below the Sea performed its first live shows in Montreal and Quebec City, developing tighter compositions and a slightly more rock attitude. Les Arbres Dépayseront Davantage, recorded in the winter of 2002 and brilliantly chronicling this evolution, came out in July of the same year.