After a five-year hiatus, influential synth-rock band Iris proudly announces their long-awaited return with their new release, “Six.” Iris’ album “Six” released on Aug 23rd, 2019 in the following editions: regular CD, 12″ limited vinyl, as well as a rare 36 Page hardcover artbook with a 7-Track bonus disc, including unreleased songs and remixes by MESH, Neuroticfish, and Solar Fake.
While other synth-pop projects die to write that one hit and make it as danceable and catchy as possible, Iris writes songs that seem to come with qualities naturally built within. The authentic feel and honesty of their compositions immediately contradict any impression of shallowness. Rather, Iris have an alternative-like quality to them, that always makes you wonder why these songs are so incredibly immersive.
Iris, as a band, is difficult to pigeonhole. Mixing Depeche Mode-era synth, angular guitars, and an introspective writing style doesn’t sound that unique
On their 6th full-length album, the North American duo consisting of Reagan Jones (vocals), and Andrew Sega (keyboards, production) prove once more that they are able to slowly evolve, yet still, rely on their natural strengths – without repeating themselves or boring their audiences. This starts with the amazing vocals of Reagan Jones, that always impress with their natural, yet almost ethereal, ability to convey all the emotion embedded within Iris’ music. His talents work on both worlds, on record and live – a satellite broadcasting a delicate message from far away.
Iris, as a band, is difficult to pigeonhole. Mixing Depeche Mode-era synth, angular guitars, and an introspective writing style doesn’t sound that unique.
Iris started in the late ’90s when singer Reagan Jones and original keyboardist Matt Morris met while studying in Texas. They aimlessly played cover songs at local bars until one day they found the formula which would be the genesis of their debut album, “Disconnect.” “Disconnect” was an 80’s influenced gem and spawned the club classic “Annie, Would I Lie To You?”
In 2002, Reagan had a chance meeting with keyboardist and producer Andrew Sega. The pair quickly hit it off, and in 2003 produced “Awakening.” This sophomore album brought in notes of Underworld-Esque electronics, heavy ambiance, and thicker rhythms. Iris continued through the decade, releasing the more rock-oriented “Wrath” (2005), the remix EP/DVD “Hydra” (2008), and the dark, bracing “Blacklight” (2011). After “Blacklight,” though, it appeared the flame of Iris might burn out. A 20-date US tour caused internal tensions to flare up, and both Reagan and Andrew decided to quietly go their separate ways.
Two years went by without a sign of life from the band.
In the end, it was a chance email from Swedish promoter Sebastian Hess that caused the spark, asking the band if they’d do a one-off gig in Gothenburg. After thinking about it, the duo agreed to dust off the keyboards for one last show. It was a smashing success. The seed was planted which would eventually lead to the brand new album, “Radiant.” The theme of starting over permeates the eleven tracks of the new album, from first single “Phenom” to the pressing groove of “Cries of Insanity”. Analog sounds collide with wide, spacious ambiances. The inward-looking lyrics talk of solitude and change.
After a longer hiatus on social media channels, the Iris-satellite unexpectedly reports back to their home base with their new album, “Six.” The notion of a remote satellite suddenly starting to broadcast again from somewhere outer space is not only a metaphor that works well due to the media absence of the band but also fits with the logic of Iris as the project stemming from “far out” within the synthpop genre. Iris stands way out from the herd of their genre competitors not only in terms of quality but also in terms of style and mission.
Perhaps the biggest quality of “Six” — The immersion within a warm, coherent cosmos of outstanding electronic music. Somewhere, out there in space, there is warmth.
Reagan Jones (vocals),
Andrew Sega (keyboards, production)