Trembling Blue Stars was a London-based band based around core members Robert Wratten and Beth Arzy (who was also in Aberdeen until they split up in 2005). Initially begun as a side project of Wratten's previous band Northern Picture Library, Trembling Blue Stars became Wratten's main band when Northern Picture Library broke up in 1995. Wratten took the name of his band from The Story of O by Pauline Réage. Trembling Blue Stars are characterized by melancholic songs with shimmering guitars and introspective lyrics.
Many of their early lyrics address Wratten's relationship with Annemari Davies, who had been in The Field Mice and Northern Picture Library with him. The first Trembling Blue Stars album, Her Handwriting, was released in 1996 on Shinkansen Recordings (the successor of Sarah Records), to critical acclaim. Wratten afterwards assembled a band, which at various times included Davies, Gemma Townley, Cath Carroll and Ian Catt, as well as Michael Hiscock, Keris Howard (previously of the Sarah Records-era band Brighter) and Harvey Williams. Producer Ian Catt has worked on every Trembling Blue Stars release.