Blake Mills was born in Santa Monica, California, United States, and grew up in Malibu, where he attended Malibu High School with Taylor Goldsmith. Mills and Goldsmith began their musical careers in a band they co-founded called Simon Dawes. Simon Dawes released its debut EP What No One Hears in 2005, and its first LP Carnivore in September 2006 via Record Collection. After the band broke up in 2007, Goldsmith and his younger brother, Griffin, formed the band Dawes with Simon Dawes bassist, Wylie Gelber, and Mills went on to serve as a touring guitarist for Jenny Lewis. He went on to tour with Band of Horses, Cass McCombs, Julian Casablancas and Lucinda Williams. As a session musician, Mills has collaborated with Conor Oberst, Kid Rock, Weezer, The Avett Brothers, Paulo Nutini, Norah Jones, Carlene Carter, Jesca Hoop, Dixie Chicks, Zucchero, Pink, Lana Del Rey, Dangermouse, Vulfpeck and more.
In 2010, Mills released his first solo LP, Break Mirrors, via Record Collection. The original intent for the album was to serve as a calling card for Mills to get session work. Break Mirrors was touted as the album of the year by many websites and fellow musicians, despite its limited release. In late 2011, after spending back-to-back years on tour and in the studio playing on other people’s records, Mills made the decision to begin producing in order to explore musical concepts beyond guitar. Analog Edition Records released a Blake Mills double A side 7 in 2011, featuring the songs Hey Lover and Wintersong in 2011.