Pollyanna came to prominence in Australia in the mid-'90s with their brand of noisy indie guitar pop, reminiscent of Sugar or Happy Days-era Catherine Wheel. Formed in Sydney, Australia, in 1993, the original Pollyanna lineup was Matt Handley (vocals/guitar), Maryke Stapleton (bass), and Serge Luca (drums). Their first EP, FordGreenSilverRocket, released in October 1994, was largely ignored, although their second EP, Junior, was picked up by Australian radio after its release in February 1995, largely due to the track "Pale Grey Eyes."
Their first full album, Long Player, appeared in early 1996, and received good reviews for its guitar-driven pop. Several tracks became alternative radio staples and one single -- "Lemonsuck" -- managed to crack the Australian mainstream charts. With this newfound success in mind, Pollyanna re-released the two early EPs on one disc entitled Junior Rock in November 1996. Following extensive touring, including support spots for the Australian leg of tours by Weezer, Paw, and Garbage, Pollyanna began work on their new album. During the recording of the album, Luca quit the group, and was replaced by Glenn Maynard, who had performed in Melbourne bands Have a Nice Day and Violetine. Accordingly, the band shifted base from Sydney to Melbourne at this time.
Pollyanna returned with Hello Halo in late 1997. While the album was not a huge stylistic change for the band, tracks like "Brittle Then Broken" and "Cooling Your Heels" showed that Pollyanna were capable of writing more than just straightforward guitar rock. Hello Halo received widespread attention and was greeted with good reviews.