Monkey Swallows the Universe was an acoustic/indie band from Sheffield, England. MSTU is centred around its founders, Nat Johnson and Kevin Gori, who formed the band in 2003 after meeting at the University of Sheffield. In the band's first incarnation they both sang and played acoustic guitars with Gori adding extra touches with instruments such as the recorder and glockenspiel. The band later expanded to include Catherine Tully on violin, Andy George on cello and Rob Dean on drums. Nat Johnson became the main singer and song-writer. In February 2006, the band released its first album The Bright Carvings on the small independent record label Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation. The band had been featured a number of times in Sandman magazine.
On 11 April 2006, the band appeared on Gideon Coe's BBC 6 Music radio show, and played two songs live in session. In May 2006, the band supported Richard Hawley on three dates of his UK tour. Later that year, the band supported the Long Blondes on 5 dates of their UK tour. In July 2006 MSTU released "Science" (b/w Happiness & Florence) as a CD single, and on 7" vinyl (b/w Happiness) also on Thee SPC.