Irene formed in 2005 as a vehicle for the songs of Tobias "Bobby" Isaksson. Irene were signed to Labrador soon after they formed, and their debut single on that label, Baby I Love Your Way/To Be with You, was released in 2006. The Little Things (That Tear Us Apart) EP hit stores soon after, and the band's debut album, Apple Bay, was released before the year was out. The album showcased Irene's sweet, breezy indie pop -- a sound, rooted in 1960s bubblegum pop, that nodded to acts like Saturday Looks Good to Me and the Concretes. Following a whirlwind European tour, Irene returned to the studio to record their second album; following the release of a downloadable teaser single, "By Your Side," Labrador came out with Irene's sophomore effort, Long Gone Since Last Summer, in 2007. The album and its "By Your Side" single generated quite a bit of critical buzz, launching Irene on yet another European tour the following year.