Strangeways Radio » Shoegaze Spotlight: Airiel

Shoegaze Spotlight: Airiel


Airiel is a shoegaze band based in Chicago, Illinois, The band originally began as a solo project by Jeremy Wrenn in Bloomington, Indiana, in 1997. This followed the break-up of Wrenn’s previous shoegaze band, Black Olive, who released one album called Verge. For a few years, Airiel was a duo: Wrenn on guitar, Sean Delaney on bass and a drum machine. Wrenn then relocated to Chicago and brought in Cory Osborne (bass) and John Rungger (drums), followed by Chris De Brizzio (guitar).

Through Clairecords (Sacramento), Airiel released a series of four-song EPs titled Winks & Kisses. The EPs were also sold as a limited edition boxed set, capturing the evolution of Airiel in its current form. Their CDs are consistently some of the top sellers of the label, and the Frosted EP in particular sold out incredibly fast. The group has also been asked to contribute to several compilation CDs, including Never Lose That Feelingby Club AC30 (U.K.).

In 2007, the band recorded their debut full-length, The Battle of Sealand, which was released on Highwheel Records in August of that year. Wrenn and DeBrizzio parted ways with Osborne and Rungger in late 2007. The band relocated to Bridgeport, a neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, shortly thereafter. Airiel toured the UK and Ireland in April 2008 with Ulrich Schnauss. Schnauss had also contributed to The Battle of Sealand, on the track “Sugar Crystals”.

In addition to their recordings, Airiel have also gained a reputation for being a skilled and exciting live band. In addition to playing such local Chicago landmarks as the Double Door, Subterranean, and the Bottom Lounge, they have performed in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Denver, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis. They have toured the U.S. East Coast, performing in New York City, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and points in between. Airiel has also opened for some high-profile acts, including The Dears, Chapterhouse, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and the above-mentioned Schnauss, to name a few.

The current incarnation of Airiel is as follows:

  • Jeremy Wrenn – vocals, guitar.
  • Andrew Marrah – guitar.
  • Chase Johnson – bass guitar, synthesizers.

Fans have been anxiously awaiting news about the next Airiel release, and only just this week Airiel announced the release of Kid Games, a 4-song EP available on Shelflife Records, set for May 1st, 2012. Kid Games will be available on VINYL and DIGITAL DOWNLOAD. Pre-orders will receive a coupon for a free digital download for the album. A limited edition cyan vinyl will be available until sold out. The digital download for those who pre-order will be available on May 1st, 2012.

Airiel will perform with THE TELESCOPES, Lightfoils and Chatham Rise on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 at Subterranean to celebrate the release of Kid Games.



Discography: EPs

  • Winks & Kisses: Frosted (2003)
  • Winks & Kisses: Dizzy (2003)
  • Winks & Kisses: Melted (2004)
  • Winks & Kisses: Crackled (2004)
  • Airiel EP (2005)
  • Kid Games (2012)

Discography: LPs


  • Welcome to The Future (Highwheel Records Comp Featuring the song “Peoria”) (2006)
  • Never Lose That Feeling (Club AC30 Comp Featuring the song “Blowin Cool”) (2006)
When The Sun Hits

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