Experimental band The Kiwi Animal continued a DIY artistic journey for fringe artists Brent Hayward and Julie Cooper. Both musicians worked across mediums; Howard fronted Wellington art/punk band Shoes this High in the late 70s before releasing solo "protest" music under the name Smelly Feet; Cooper was a performer, journalist and poet. They formed The Kiwi Animal in Auckland in 1982, writing what Hayward called "radical acoustic music" centered around guitar, strings and interweaving vocals. Debut album Music Media arrived in 1984. Cello player Patrick Waller joined the duo for 1985's Mercy; the band parted ways late the same year.