Cara Dillon is a traditional Irish folk and pop singer from Londonderry, Ireland whose first taste of musical success came with the band Equation. The band signed a record deal with Blanco y Negro and recorded the album Return to Me, in 1996. Unfortunately, only weeks before the album release date and after promotion and performances on MTV and VH1, the label put the band's record on the shelf and it was not heard until 2003, when the band's former manager bought the rights and released it under Rough Trade records. Dillon left the band with fellow member Sam Lakeman and the pair signed with the same label under the name Polar Star. Despite working with talented songwriters and producers on several albums, Blanco y Negro never released any of Polar Star's albums, prompting the duo to sign with Rough Trade Records. Dillon finally recorded and released her self-titled, debut solo album in 2001, a compilation of traditional Irish songs and original compositions written with the help of her long time music partner Lukeman, who she eventually married. The opening track on the album, "Black is the Colour," earned her the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for "Best Traditional Song" as well as the Horizon Award for "Best Newcomer." By her fourth album, Hill of Thieves, Dillon had a solid fan base in the UK and Ireland and decided to transition to her own label, Charcoal Records.