Christine Lavin emerged out of the crowded New York City songwriter scene of the '80s with a style that distinguished her from her peers. First, her songs were overwhelmingly concerned with contemporary romantic mores (that scary, uncertain world of "relationships," "commitments," and "biological clocks"). Second, while her takes on this subject could sometimes be sentimental or even maudlin, more often they were humorous. "If You Need Space, Go to Utah" was the first track on her second recording, a 1983 EP called Husbands and Wives. (Her first album, 1982's Absolutely Live, was out of print until 2000, when it was reissued on CD.) In 1984, Lavin self-released her first full-length studio album, Future Fossils, which included both her serious and comic numbers, notably "Damaged Goods" (what people start to feel like after enough failed relationships) and "Don't Ever Call Your Sweetheart by His Name" (how difficult it is to remember people's names after enough failed relationships).