Raised in Indiana, Sauerteig began releasing music as Slow Dakota from his Columbia University dorm room in 2012. As an undergraduate, Sauerteig pursued Creative Writing and Psychology, and quietly released Our Indian Boy
(2012), Bürstner and the Baby
(2013), and The Junior EP (Remastered)
(2015). While at Columbia, Sauerteig also founded a small record label, Massif Records, to release his own music, and the music of friends (for example, Sauerteig's close college friend and collaborator, Proud Father
Sauerteig first gained recognition with his 2016 album, The Ascension of Slow Dakota
- a 19-song blend of folk, rock, spoken word monologues, and chamber music. Shortly after, Sauerteig matriculated to NYU School of Law. He released the playful Rumspringa
EP in 2017, and followed up a month later with Areopagitica
- a folk sermon on censorship and free expression (inspired by Sauerteig's time working at PEN America). As a musician, Sauerteig is extremely reclusive; he has never toured, and has only ever played a handful of live shows.