Airiel began as a solo project by Jeremy Wrenn in Bloomington, Indiana, in 1997. 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.