Alternative gospel band Hoi Polloi was formed in New Zealand by vocalist Jenny Gullen, her husband, bassist Andrew Horst, guitarist David Ball and drummer Jozsef Fityus. Moving to the U.S., Hoi Polloi performed their first gig at the 1990 Cornerstone Festival and signed to the gospel label Reunion soon after. A restrictive contract, however, forced the band into two albums that overly polished their rugged, rootsy sound, Hoi Polloi (1992) and Spin Me (1993).
Ball and Fityus returned to the homeland in 1994, forcing the recruitment of New Zealand native Scott Pearson on drums and American guitarist Troy Daugherty. In mid-1995, Hoi Polloi released Happy Ever After; its single "Tiptoe" spent eight weeks at the top of the Christian rock charts, and the album crossed over to college and commercial-alternative radio.