Washington DC electro-pop trio SHAED have kinda blown up since the last time we caught up with them… The last time we chatted with the band, whose aesthetic I characterized as, “equally indebted to ‘80s New Wave and ‘90s R&B,” were currently on the road supporting Bishop Briggs in mega-venues (including our own Union Transfer). This Friday SHAED kick off their first-ever headlining tour, which will have them at Boot & Saddle on Friday, March 1st. The tour is in support of their Melt EP, which dropped last September and has garnered a bevy of attention, most notably single “Trampoline,” which has charted on numerous streaming services. Their latest release definitely leans on their most sultry and soulful side, reminiscent of a millennial’s take on early-mid-‘90s summertime jams. Yesterday I got a chance to chat with SHAED lead vocalist Chelsea Lee about what the band has been up to recently and what they’re most excited about in 2019.
Izzy Cihak: So, the last time I chatted with you was in May of 2017, when you were opening for Bishop Briggs. Not to start with a huge question, but what have been some of the highlights of those past two years? You’ve achieved quite a bit.
Chelsea Lee: Ah! So many amazing things have happened since Bishop Briggs. We all moved into a house together – so instead of spending 98% of our time together, we now spend 100% of it together :). We released our EP Melt, contemplated getting a dog, had our song in an Apple commercial, and played our first show overseas. Oh and Spencer and I got married!
Izzy: And you’re going to be returning to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection early next month to play a show at Boot & Saddle, a 150-capacity venue that’s quite a drastic difference from the cavernous Union Transfer. What can be expected of this sure-to-be super-sweaty show? (I heard it’s basically sold out.)
Chelsea: Our live show is definitely a bit different than the last time we were in Philly. Not to give too much away, but we have a new light show and some new tunes.
Izzy: You’re playing a lot of really huge upcoming shows. Are there any gigs you’re especially excited to play, or just cities you’re especially excited to visit or revisit?
Chelsea: We’re just so excited to get back out and tour. This is one of the most exciting and exhausting aspects of being a musician. We’re really looking forward to all the festivals we have coming up.
Izzy: I dig the whole new EP, but I especially love “You Got Me Like.” How did that particular track come about?
Chelsea: We wrote that song at our house. We wanted to write something fun and summery. We were looking for features and we really love Snny so we drove to NYC to collab and turned our airbnb into a little studio. Snny came over, wrote his verse in what felt like 10 minutes and we recorded it.
Izzy: I also love your recent music videos, especially the one for “Silver Knife.” What is it that inspires the visual aspects of your work? Are there any films, filmmakers, or visual artists that you find to be especially inspiring, or just especially cool?
Chelsea: The concept for “Silver Knife” was developed by our director, Max Haben who had worked with the dancer Anna Pinault on a previous project. We filmed it in one afternoon in Sligo Creek stream, behind our house. Families were walking by, which was a little nerve-racking since our dancer was covered in blood with a knife in her hand for most of the shooting. We’re really into Tyler the Creator and oddfuture’s aesthetic.
Izzy: In addition to your music videos, your sartorial style is also quite cool. Is there any particular way you hope your fans will be styled when they show up at your shows?
Chelsea: I think most importantly we want people to feel like themselves at shows – wear whatever they want! We hope they feel free and safe at our shows :).
Izzy: Finally, and this is a super hokey question, but since you and Spencer just got married and I always have to ask married couples making music this: Who are your favorite musical spouses from throughout music history? I always go with Kim and Thurston, but I feel like there are a lot of good ones.
Chelsea: Hmm, we’re my favorite musical couple ;).