Richmond Fontaine, to focus on his successful writing career, Willy Vlautin also found time to write new material that was inspired by the voice of Austin-based singer Amy Boone. Bringing on board fellow RF member Sean Oldham on drums, the Decemberists’ Jenny Conlee on keys, and Tucker Jackson on pedal steel, Vlautin created the Delines around Boone's tough but haunting and vulnerable vocal style. The group headed to Portland, Oregon with producer John Askew (Laura Veirs, Neko Case) to record what would become the band's debut album, Colfax. Released at the beginning of 2014, the album brought together Vlautin's much-lauded tales of struggling characters from the American backwaters, with Boone's incredibly emotive vocals. Following the release of the album, the group embarked on a European tour that same year. The following year the band release what began as an inter-album single during a set of summer shows. The studio sessions blossomed, and the band soon had a ten-track collection on their hands, which they called Scenic Sessions and released that same year.
Boone was involved in a car accident which left her with multiple injuries. Her lengthy convalescence led to a four-year gap between albums proper, but the band reappeared in 2018 with their sophomore effort. Imperial was recorded in Portland, Oregon with producer John Morgan Askew (Sera Cahoone, Lenore) and included the single "Eddie and Polly."