The Posies began as a set of informal home recordings by Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow in Bellingham, Washington in 1987 and eventually became a full-fledged band. Those demos were released as the album Failure, and Mike Musberger and Rick Roberts joined soon after, allowing the band to play its first live shows in Seattle and Bellingham. The four then moved into a house in Seattle's University District. The band's first full album was their major-label debut Dear 23 in 1990. It was produced by John Leckie and features lush orchestrations for the songwriters' literate, clever, melodic pop with occasional hard-hitting guitars.
During the recording for their third album, Roberts left and was replaced by Dave Fox, and during a European tour, Musberger left. In 1994, Brian Young took over on drums and Joe Howard on bass. In 1997, the band went on hiatus while the members concentrated on outside projects, including solo albums and work with Lucky Me , Skyward and Fountains of Wayne. From 1997 to 2001, there was only sporadic Posies activity.
After a satisfying tour as a duo, Auer and Stringfellow brought the band back to active service, now with Darius Minwalla and Matt Harris. Stringfellow also works with the Europe-based band The Disciplines and provides support for REM.