Charles Guilterre has been collecting music and musical instruments as long as he can remember. He was raised on the sounds of the motown, but his tastes were dramatically expanded during his formative years in the early 1980s when he was drawn to the new wave synthesizer sounds of that era. After a short stint as DJ Chocolate Decadence in California in the early 1990s, he re-entered the music scene as DJ Guilterre in New York City's East Village in the late 1990s, playing a mix of lounge, party house, and euro indie dance.
Although he took a break from DJing after 2005, Guilterre still continued to collect instruments throughout this period with the intent on creating original compositions. Guilterre moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in September 2010 to focus on this effort, founding Fallen Fronds in April 2011. After a series of remixes for artists such as Chromeo, Erasure, Penguin Prison, and Houses Like Faces, Fallen Fronds released their debut EP, Thermal Breakdown, in October 2012. This EP offered a brief look into the range of sounds Guilterre had been envisioning up to that point, from the industrial-themed "Inflection" to the cover of Erasure's "Cry So Easy" (Guilterre cites Vince Clarke as one of his greatest influences).
Fallen Fronds' second EP, Pleather Grip, is more consistent in tone. This collection of songs have an edgy dark grittiness, with the addition of electric bass, guitars, and Guilterre's raspy vocals to the layered analog synths and intricate percussion that was evidenced from the debut. The first two tracks on Pleather Grip, "166" and "Radical," have a trip hop/industrial feel with lyrics that speak of love, loss, delusions of grandeur, and flawed acceptance (in no particular order), all set upon the open and not-so-open roads of the California highway system. The Kraftwerk-like "Portempornpernpipot" is this EP's most upbeat track, melding and layering simple electro sounds into waves of sonic complexity. The final track on Pleather Grip is a cover of Dot Allison's "Wishing Stone," adding arpeggiated synths and male vocals (dramatically changing the song's perspective) and turning this once acoustic track into synthpop.