After witnessing the power of her brother's band, Engine Down, vocalist Maura Davis decided she too wanted to try her hand at rock & roll.
Joining her for Denali in spring 2000 were brother Keeley Davis (synth/bass), ex-Lazycain member Cam DiNunzio (guitar), and Jonathan Fuller (drums). Within months, Denali made its stage debut in Baltimore after an illness within Engine Down's ranks forced Denali to take the band's place. In January 2001, Denali recorded a five-song demo and ended up selling 700 copies. Such momentum caught Jade Tree's attention, and they signed the band before the year's end. Denali's trip-hop-influenced sound was ready for a studio and as luck would have it, Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous produced Denali's self-titled debut album. The dark, lush electronic layers of Denali appeared in spring 2002, while a tour with Clinic followed shortly thereafter. The band's sophisticated second album, Instinct, appeared in August 2003, but it proved to be their last. Just one month after Instinct's release, Keeley Davis and Jonathan Fuller announced their departure from the band, both opting to focus more of their energy back to Engine Down. Denali carried on, replacing Davis with Pinebender bassist/keyboardist Stephen Howard and Fuller with Euphone drummer Ryan Rapsys, but lasted only until April of 2004 when the band issued its public statement declaring their breakup. ~ MacKenzie Wilson, Rovi