Reagan Jones (Vocals, Songwriting) & Andrew Sega (Programming, Orchestration, Guitar)
Some of you may have heard of today’s band, Iris. They’re one of the few American bands to have something of a significant impact on the synth pop scene. Most bands of that genre come from Europe, but Iris has proven that there’s some quality to be found stateside as well. However, they’ve gone through some changes over their existence.
Iris was formed in 1993 as “Forgiving Iris” by two college friends Reagan Jones and Matt Morris. After a few years of covering new wave songs in clubs and bars in the Austin, Texas area, they dropped the “Forgiving” part of their name and signed onto A Different Drum Records in 1999. With that label they recorded their critically acclaimed debut Disconnect, which featured the cult hit “Annie, Would I Lie to You?” They were also awarded Best Band and Best Album at the first annual American Synthpop Awards in the Summer of 2000. But despite Iris’s success, Jones and Morris were having their personal differences. As a result, Morris departed and was replaced with Andrew Sega who added a new sound to the band with his guitar playing. Iris began to sound less like synth pop and more like synth rock. They also parted ways with A Different Drum and moved on to Sega’s own record label, Diffusion Records.
However, in 2003 before their departure from A Different Drum, Iris released an album of remixes and B-sides called Reconnect. According to the label’s website, “Due to the popularity of Iris’ debut album Disconnect within the synthpop world, their CD singles went out of print quickly. Some of the most popular club versions and remixes of Iris’ songs were on those singles, so this new Reconnect CD makes those versions available once again.” And of the 12 tracks on the collection there are 3 different versions of “Annie, Would I Lie to You?” The one I’m including with this post, “Annie, Would I Lie to You? (Y1.999K Extension),” is the song that got me interested in the band. A friend of mine found an A Different Drum booth at Otakon, an anime convention in Baltimore, over the previous summer. He found Reconnect there and starting raving about it to all of his friends, including me. He was especially fond of “Annie, Would I Lie to You? (Y1.999K Extension)” because it was so damn catchy. When I actually heard the song for the first time, it really didn’t have much of an initial effect on me. I just shrugged my shoulders and thought, “Eh, it wasn’t bad.” But over the next few days I couldn’t stop humming the chorus to myself, so eventually I had to look up the band on the web and see if I could find anything about them anywhere. Fortunately, the Internet has satisfied my appetite.
Purchase Reconnect by Iris
Iris – Annie, Would I Lie to You? (Y1.999K Extension)