Charlyn Marie Marshall, also known as Chan (pronounced “Shawn”) Marshall, was born in the U.S state of Georgia on 21 January 1972. After dropping out of high school, she started performing under the name Cat Power while in Atlanta, backed by musicians Glen Thrasher, Mark Moore, and others. She soon moved to New York City where, after opening for Liz Phair in 1994, she met Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth and Tim Foljahn of Two Dollar Guitar, who encouraged her to record, and played on her first two albums, 1995’s Dear Sir and 1996’s Myra Lee. In 1996 she was signed to Matador Records, and released her third album, What Would the Community Think, which spawned a single and music video, “Nude as the News”.
Shortly following the release of What Would the Community Think Marshall disappeared from the musical scene, initially working as a baby sitter in Portland, Oregon and then moving to a farmhouse in Prosperity, South Carolina with boyfriend Bill Callahan (who performs under the name Smog). The plan was to permanently retire from music but during a sleepless night resulting from a nightmare, Marshall wrote several new songs. These songs would make up the bulk of Moon Pix. The album was recorded at Sing Sing Studios in Melbourne in eleven days with backing musicians Mick Turner and Jim White of the Dirty Three.  The album was well-received by critics, and gained her recognition in the indie rock scene. However, during the subsequent tours she grew tired of her own material. This resulted in a series of shows during 1999 involving Marshall providing musical accompaniment to a series of screenings of the silent movie The Passion of Joan of Arc.