Bolme became interested in playing music after seeing The Pretenders while in high school, and she was a fan of the Portland punk scene in the 80s. She learned to play bass when she "got bored with guitar" while playing with Calamity Jane. Over the years she has played in bands including Quasi, The Minders, The Spinanes, Jr. High, Calamity Jane, Consortium, The Shadow Mortons, and Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks.
Bolme became one of the founding members of the Jicks after finding out that Malkmus had been playing music with John Moen during a game of scrabble with Stephen Malkmus. She has been the bass player for the Jicks since it began in 2000. She also began touring with the indie rock band and long time duo Quasi in 2006, and was an official member of the band from 2007 to 2011.
Bolme was born in Florida. She moved to Portland, Oregon early in her life and has lived there since. Bolme was a long-time friend of musician Elliott Smith and worked to mix Either/Or and the posthumous album of his work From a Basement on the Hill with the help of Rob Schnapf. Bolme is married to Gary Jarman of UK band The Cribs.