High Dive

For most of 2018 and 2019, the members of SHAED were touring the world behind the juggernaut of a single, “Trampoline,” the now twice platinum song that simply would not die. The pressure to deliver a full-length album was on, with the band members taking a day off here and there to create new material. Then came COVID, forcing the trio off the road, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. “We had an entire album lined up ready to go before the pandemic,” says band member Max Ernst. “We were in lockdown and we were finally able to look at everything we had. It didn’t sound cohesive. It didn’t sound like who we were. We scrapped the entire thing.” Starting from scratch in their home studio in Virginia, the band wrote and produced High Dive (out May 14 via Photo Finish Records), an album full of concise dance pop gems heavily influenced by ’80s new wave artists including New Order, Peter Gabriel, and the Psychedelic Furs. The main highlight of the album is lead singer Chelsea Lee’s vocal ability—she sounds like she attended the Sia School for Belters and majored in vocal gymnastics. “We treat her voice as the heart and soul of this band,” says bandmate Spencer Ernst. “We really try to make sure there’s room for her to shine through the production.” The album will be available on colored vinyl, something SHAED took into account while sequencing the album specifically for that format. “We spent probably like three weeks trying to figure it out,” says Lee. “We had so many drafts and we were definitely thinking about vinyl during the process.” The band are currently prepping for a few 2021 live shows, including an appearance at the Life Is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas in September. “As we were creating this album, we started thinking about our live show months ago,” says Spencer, revealing that there will be a drum rig onstage. “Max and I will be fighting over it,” he says, laughing. “It will still be us three,” adds Lee. “We’re so excited for live shows—I can’t even tell you.” The album will be available via all streaming services starting May 14. To purchase the colored vinyl, visit shaed.limitedrun.com. Free–$30.