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Chelsea Lee and the Ernst twins first met in high school and began writing music together a few years later. In the meantime, as students at the University of Maryland, Max and Spencer formed rootsy duo the Walking Sticks, releasing the EP World So Bright in 2012. Lee joined the group soon after, and the resulting follow-up EP, Send the Night, adopted an atmospheric, electronic sound.
Rebranding as SHAED to reflect the change in style, the trio released their debut single, "Just Wanna See," in March 2016. A few months later, they went viral with the anthemic synth tune "Thunder." Both songs were included on their first EP, Just Wanna See, released that September on Photo Finish Records. It was followed by tours in support of Marian Hill and Bishop Briggs. SHAED offered up the stand-alone single "Too Much" in mid-2017, shortly before the group moved in together and worked on recording much of their second EP at home.
In May 2018, they re-emerged on tour with X Ambassadors, and Photo Finish issued "Trampoline," the lead single from that September's Melt. The song was picked up for a high-profile tech commercial, and the following September, SHAED performed "Trampoline" on TV's Jimmy Kimmel Live! and English pop star ZAYN released a remix of the song. The original single climbed into the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100, with Melt cracking the Billboard 200 in October 2019. Three months later, with a big assist from the ZAYN remix of "Trampoline," the album's Deluxe Edition entered the chart at number 152. ~ Marcy Donelson