DeVotchKa is a four piece multi-instrumental and vocal ensemble that fuses Romani, Greek, Slavic, Bolero, Mariachi (and many more styles) music with American punk and folk roots. They take their name from Anthony Burgess' Nadsat word for "young girl," which is itself derived from the Russian word (девочка) of the same meaning. Based in Denver, Colorado, the quartet is made up of Nick Urata, who sings and plays theremin, guitar, bouzouki, piano, and trumpet; Tom Hagerman, who plays violin, accordion, and piano; Jeanie Schroder, who sings and plays sousaphone and double bass; and Shawn King, who plays percussion and trumpet.
Originally a backing band for burlesque shows, in their early years DeVotchKa also toured with fetish model Dita von Teese. Numerous nationwide tours in support of self released records earned the band an underground following. Their song "How It Ends" was featured on the trailer for the film Everything Is Illuminated, introducing the band to a widening audience. Their performance at the 2006 Bonnaroo music festival was considered a breakout event. In between tours, the band was picked by first time film directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris to score Little Miss Sunshine, a 2006 film that would go on to garner four Academy Award nominations. DeVotchKa, along with composer Mychael Danna, composed and performed the majority of the music for the film's soundtrack and were nominated for a 2006 Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack. The main song, The Winner Is, was also used in a commercial by the French-based environment and energy company Suez and the Dutch pension fund PGGM.
Arcade Fire singer Win Butler suggested to DeVotchka that they cover the Siouxsie and the Banshees song "The Last Beat of My Heart". The musicians found the idea interesting and they recorded that song for the now critically acclaimed Curse Your Little Heart EP.