The band's debut album, The Dust of Retreat, was issued on the local indie label Standard Recording in 2005. The picturesque, dozen-song set earned the band a loyal following, and Margot & the Nuclear So and So's signed with Artemis Records later that year. A remixed and remastered version of The Dust of Retreat was released in March 2006, but a series of label acquisitions (Artemis bought V2, Virgin Records effectively absorbed the band, and Capitol merged with Virgin) convinced the group to partner with another company instead. They relocated to the Epic roster in October 2007 while working on their sophomore release. After tracking approximately 25 songs, however, the band clashed with Epic over which songs to include in the final release. As a result, two versions of the album were released: Animal!, a vinyl and digital release of the band's preferred version, and Not Animal, a traditional CD release featuring those songs favored by the label.
After touring in support of the Animal! albums, Edwards relocated to Chicago and began pruning the band's lineup, eventually dissolving it altogether and rebuilding it from the ground up. Margot & the Nuclear So and So's thus became a six-piece band featuring Brian Deck on drums, Ronnie Kwasman and Erik Kang on guitar, Cameron McGill on keyboards, and Tyler Watkins on bass. Watkins and Kang had both played in an earlier version of Margot & the Nuclear So and So's, while the other three were Chicago-based musicians who joined the lineup in 2009. After building a makeshift recording studio in an abandoned movie theater, the six explored a lean, rock-influenced sound on Buzzard, which became the band's third album after its release in September 2010. In 2012 the band returned with Rot Gut, Domestic, a stylistically adventurous album exploring more guitar driven 90's-styled rock and flirting with country-western influences. ~ Andrew Leahey & MacKenzie Wilson, Rovi