Photo: Jason Quigley

Shaylee illuminates the darker recesses of the heart on grunge-pop frenzy “Snow Day” [BPM Premiere]

Portland power-pop punks Shaylee have spent years refining a sound that recalls the brash swagger of early Green Day and the melodic entanglements of Big Star. For the majority of its tenure, the band was basically the avenue through which singer-guitarist Elle Archer dealt with themes of identity, longing, and the struggle to sustain relationships as a queer trans woman. She developed a sound that channeled the lyrical nakedness of Elliott Smith and the jittery bedroom experiments of Ricky Eat Acid, but it wasn’t until her 2022’s Short-Sighted Security for Kill Rock Stars that she felt she had finally discovered the sound she’d sought for so long.

Speaking of Short-Sighted Security, she said: “I’ve had so much time to grow artistically, it feels like a culmination of all the work that I’ve done up until now.” And in the wake of that record’s search for self, love, and acceptance, we’ve now gotten another dose of her spirited, punk-fueled rock theatrics in the form of standalone single “Snow Day”. But this time, she’s not alone, having recruited bassist Robin Cook and drummer Nate Anderson to take part in her wild pop frenzies.  

“Snow Day” is a gloriously catchy song that attempts to illuminate those darker recesses in our hearts that we tend to ignore and just hope will fade away. You can hear the influence of bands like Pavement and Pixies, that raw emotional volatility that comes from questioning everything you think and finding no good answers to anything. The guitars are piercing in their melodic dexterity, twisting one way and then another as the drums come crashing down to topple it all. It has an infectious groove, one that doesn’t belong to any specific musical lineage, and calls out to decades of artists struggling with their own sense of purpose and responsibility.

I wrote ‘Snow Day’ about the years I spent living in a basement as unfinished as I was,” explains Archer. “For years it felt like I was chronically incomplete, and I was real insecure about it, nervous that when someone special turned up they’d turn their nose up at me. Fittingly, ‘Snow Day’ ended up being the last song we’d ever record in that space before I moved in with my partner (and Shaylee bassist) Robin. That room made that song what it is, so I’m glad that’s the note I ended on down there.

Listen to the song below.

The band has also shared a live performance vided for “Snow Day” directed by Delaney Carter and edited by Archer and Cook. It finds the band rocketing through the track in a basement littered with posters, sheets hanging on the wall, and various other musical instruments. You really get a sense of the energy that the song possesses and the way it totally decimates anything that it encounters. The clip also sells you on the dynamics of their musical camaraderie and evokes a desire to hear it in a large room filled with countless screaming fans.

Watch the video below.

Shaylee’s last album, Short-Sighted Security, was released last year on Kill Rock Stars. Follow the band on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.