The Shaky Hands are a Portland, Oregon based rock group, formed in 2003 upon Nicholas Delffs and Colin Anderson's move from Mendocino, California. Portland musician Paul Culp joined soon after on bass. They spent the next three years gradually building a following in the Portland area and self-releasing two CDs, one informally called The Skidmore Days, which is a lo-fi full-length album recorded in future guitarist Jeff Lehman's North Portland basement and mixed by Alex Arrowsmith. They also released a self-titled EP informally referred to as the Bonnie Doon EP, in reference to the location it was recorded. The Shaky Hands were signed to Holocene Music in late 2006. By this time, the lineup had changed considerably, with Mayhaw Hoons replacing Culp (who left in late 2004) on bass and the addition of second guitarist Jeff Lehman. Nathan Delffs (Nicholas' brother, and member of The Castanets) joined shortly thereafter on percussion and lap steel. Their sound is a fusion of 1960s style British Invasion bands such as The Kinks, The Who and The Zombies and American folk-rock in the vein of Neil Young. The result is what many have described as a loose, jangly, rootsy style of indie rock. The Delffs brothers (along with most of the members of Shaky Hands) also perform Shaky Hands songs (alongside original compositions) under the Death Songs moniker, a more experimental and folk-oriented side project.

In March 2007, Pitchfork Media reviewed their song "Whales Sing" from their forthcoming debut album, out April 10 on Holocene Music. On April 5 of the same year, Holocene Music posted the video for "Why And How Come," directed by Whitey McConnaughy, on YouTube.com.

The band signed to UK independent label Memphis Industries in the summer of 2007, just as they began recording their second album, Lunglight. They released the eponymous debut in the UK & Continental Europe on November 26, 2007. In 2008, The Shaky Hands signed to Kill Rock Stars, which released Lunglight in conjunction with Holocene Music on September 9, 2008, two months after founding member Colin Anderson left the group. Multi-instrumentalist Nathan Delffs took Anderson's place on the drums for the rest of 2008 before Jake Morris of The Joggers took up the position on a permanent basis, beginning with their winter 2009 tour opening for The Meat Puppets.