After graduating from UCLA in 2002, Bareilles performed at local bars and clubs. She issued two demos of mostly live tracks in 2003: The First One in April and The Summer Sessions in October.
In January 2004, Bareilles released her first studio album, Careful Confessions. She signed a contract with Epic Records' A&R executive Pete Giberga on April 15, 2005. The remainder of the year and early 2006 was spent writing and reworking songs for her upcoming album.
Her debut major-label album Little Voice came out on July 17, 2007.