Self Defense Family started as a way to kill time for Albany musicians already involved in full-time bands. Having spent time in heavier bands, the initial End of a Year line-up was interested in trying something more overtly melodic. Taking their name from an Embrace song, the band's original sound was highly influenced by the Revolution Summer-era DC bands. The band recorded a boombox demo to give out at their first show, which took place at SUNY Albany. Shortly thereafter, a more formal demo entitled "Warm" was recorded. A full-length, Disappear Here, appeared on local labels Oneohfive and Losingface Records. The band later released a split 7" with western Massachusetts band Three Fifteen on another local label, Slave Union. It was this record that caught the attention of Revelation Records, and the band made the jump in 2006, recording their first full-length for the California label in the spring of that year. Sincerely was recorded with Don Zientara at Inner Ear Studio, adding to the perception that the band was striving for a DC-centered sound; the actual music, however, strayed further from that model than on previous releases. In the spring of 2009 the band released an EP for Deathwish Inc. and announced plans for a full-length release for the label. The band regularly names songs after actual people with lyrical content that, though oblique, seems to reference the person. Some people the band has given song titles to include: Audrey Kishline, former proponent of Moderation Management; Micheal Ray Richardson, former NBA basketball player and current coach of the Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry; Michael Larson, notable for his record-breaking winnings on the American game show Press Your Luck; William Kennedy, author and Albany, New York-area resident; Juana Maria, the sole resident of San Nicolas Island from 1835 to 1853; and Charles Rocket, late comedian and actor.