Flashpapr began in 1995 in Ann Arbor, MI, when Fred Thomas recruited musician friends from around Michigan to contribute to his new music project. From its humble beginnings, the music of Flashpapr was minimalist and intensely personal. Those original collaborators included Nikkie Margosian of Lovesick, Carrie Smith of the Von Bondies, and JJ Heldman of Ohio. Jacob Danzinger soon joined as Flashpapr's violinist. The band's debut, the Simple Dancing cassette, appeared in early 1996 on Thomas' Westside Audio label. The duo of Thomas and Danzinger began performing live in early 1996. Zach Wallace soon joined the fold on stand-up bass as the band continued to perform their intimate and solemn songs throughout Michigan. Their improvisational style eventually produced a regular set of songs, as the band began to play with drummer Geoff Streadwick.