Long before their breakout platinum-selling single “Trampoline” made chart topping history, before last year’s critically-acclaimed Melt EP, before finding a house to live and record in, before tours with Bishop Briggs and Marian Hill, and before their debut EP Just Wanna See, members (and twin brothers) Spencer and Max Ernst started writing songs with Chelsea Lee, a friend from high school. Combining the brothers’ producing prowess with Chelsea’s expansive vocal range yielded powerful results. In 2016 they formed SHAED, the name a reference to a fictional cloak woven out of shadow.
Their music moves between dark and light, too. On one hand SHAED trades in infectious, deeply danceable electro-pop, cut with glittering synths and the spirit of ‘80s R&B. But Chelsea’s voice—which can swing between ecstatic, Madonna-like highs and growling lows—lends their songs surprising emotional depth. And unexpected instrumental touches—a ghostly whistle in “Trampoline,” orchestral strings at the end of “Melt” (the EP’s glorious title track) —further distinguish their sound from their pop counterparts.
The band has always been uniquely close (Chelsea and Spencer are married), but things were taken to a new level when they all moved into a house together. After months of touring the country, pinging between venues and vans and Airbnbs, the group found solace—and creative rebirth—in having a space of their own. This is where the Melt truly came together, where their previous lives (day jobs, sharing songs from afar) melted away, and where a new vision of the band formed in its place. “For the first time, we got to wake up every day and make music together,” Spencer says. “It’s changed everything.”
Following a once-in-a-lifetime placement in Apple’s MacBook Air ad this past fall, SHAED pushed “Trampoline” to even further heights. While being featured on almost every major music festival lineup this summer—including Lollapalooza and Governors Ball—the band claimed the #1 Alternative Song in America for two consecutive weeks, made Billboard history as the first act led by a woman to ever top the Rock Airplay chart (#1 for 3 weeks), and topped the Emerging Artists chart (#1 for 2 weeks). SHAED performed the song on Good Morning America and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and went on to release a special version of “Trampoline” in September, featuring a duet with pop sensation ZAYN.
As the trio gears up for the release of their debut LP, they’ve also given fans a glimpse of what’s to come with the new multi-single release of “ISOU” and “Thunder,” out now via Photo Finish Records.