The band recorded a debut LP, 1997's The Legend of Chin, for Charlie Peacock's re:Think imprint. The follow-up, 1999's New Way to Be Human, was a huge commercial success in Christian markets, with the title track garnering a 1999 Dove Award for Song of the Year. Released in 2000, Learning to Breathe found Switchfoot moving more toward mainstream modern rock, and its success, along with the band's inclusion on the soundtrack to the 2002 Mandy Moore film A Walk to Remember, brought Switchfoot a major-label run. The Beautiful Letdown, their first release for Columbia/RED, appeared in 2003. Thanks to the radio hits "Dare You to Move" and "Meant to Live," the album went double platinum and hit number one on Billboard's Christian Albums chart.
Switchfoot's fifth album, Nothing Is Sound, appeared in 2005 and almost immediately went gold. The album's radio hit, "Stars," included the work of additional guitarist Andrew Shirley, formerly of the CCM group All Together Separate. A sixth album, Oh! Gravity, appeared in 2006. That year saw Foreman branch out a bit as he formed an acoustic duo with Nickel Creek member Sean Watkins, the Real SeanJon, as a side project. Since some of his new songs didn't fit well within the Switchfoot formula, Foreman also began working on solo material, releasing a series of four linked EPs of six songs each called Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer in 2008. The first two were then packaged together for a release entitled Fall and Winter that same year, and 2009 saw the Real SeanJon issuing an album under a new name, Fiction Family. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi