Spektor completed the four-year studio composition program of the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College within three years, graduating with honors in 2001.Around this time, she also worked briefly at a butterfly farm in Luck, Wisconsin, Spektor gradually achieved recognition through performances in the anti-folk scene in downtown New York City, most prominently at the East Village's Side Walk Cafe.Her mother, Bella Spektor, was a music professor in a Soviet college of music and teaches at a public elementary school in Mount Vernon, New York.She has a brother Boruch (also known as Bear), who was featured in track 7, "* * *", or "Whisper", of her 2004 album, Soviet Kitsch.She also performed at local colleges (such as Sarah Lawrence College) with other musicians, including the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players.She sold self-published CDs at her performances during this period: (2001) and Songs (2002).Growing up in Moscow, Regina learned how to play the piano by practising on a Petrof upright that her grandfather gave her mother.
While on the tour, she and the band performed and recorded "Modern Girls & Old Fashion Men".
For the record she worked with four producers: David Kahne (who had previously worked with Spektor on Begin to Hope), Mike Elizondo, Jacknife Lee and Jeff Lynne.
The record sold 50,000 copies in its first week, entering the US Billboard 200 at number three; the record remained on the chart for 19 weeks.
Spektor was born in 1980 in Moscow, Soviet Union, to a musical Russian Jewish family.
Her father, Ilya Spektor, is a photographer and amateur violinist.