Following the dissolution of his retro-pop band the 27 Various, Minneapolis-based singer/guitarist Ed Ackerson formed Polara with Peter Anderson (drums), Jennifer Jurgens (guitar, vocals, organ), and Jason Orris (bass, vocals). Where Ackerson's music once sprung from the inspirations of '60s pop, with Polara he absorbed the influence of '70s Krautrock, layering his melodic songs with keyboards, samplers, and electronics. The group's eponymous debut, issued in 1995, won widespread critical acclaim and landed them in the middle of a major-label bidding war. Upon signing to Interscope, Polara resurfaced in 1996 with the EP Pantomime; C'est la Vie, their full-length follow-up, appeared the next year. Interscope was in negotiations to submerge into their parent company by the time 1998's Formless/Functional came out, and Polara was one of the artists to be dropped when it happened the next year. Ackerson took time away from the band to produce albums for other artists, eventually opening his own recording studio in Minneapolis. He also started Susstones, a small record label that distributes material from independent Minnesota acts. Still, he planned on returning to Polara eventually, and in 2002 he stepped back into the studio with Jurgens and bassist Dan Boen to record Jetpack Blues, their debut for his label. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi