Often described by critics as disposable, '80s synth pop acts such as Erasure and Depeche Mode continued to inspire young musicians to write hummable songs with a plethora of keyboards even into the '90s. Iris formed in 1993 as Forgiving Iris with Reagan Jones (vocals, keyboards) and Matt Morris (keyboards, programming). Jones and Morris met in college; they were taking an electronic music class and discovered they shared the same taste in artists. Forgiving Iris started performing at clubs in the Austin, TX, area, covering classic new wave songs. When the duo began opening up for other groups, they concentrated on their own material. Forgiving Iris contributed the track "Annie, Would I Lie to You" to the Electronic Fields compilation in 1996. The track became a cult favorite in dance clubs, but it had many fans wondering if, or when, the band was going to record a full-length CD. They shortened their name to Iris and released their debut album, Disconnect, on June 1, 1999, for the A Different Drum label. Disconnect was praised by music reviewers for its upbeat synth-driven rhythms. In the summer of 2000, Iris was voted Best Band and Best Album at the first annual American Synthpop Awards.