Mae's name is an acronym for Multi-sensory Aesthetic Experience, based on a course taken by drummer Jacob Marshall while a student at Old Dominion University. Jacob and Dave Elkins began what would become Mae by writing their first song, "Embers And Envelopes," in Jacob's living room. The band signed with Tooth and Nail Records and released their first album, Destination: Beautiful, in 2003. They released their second full-length album, The Everglow, in 2005. The band toured extensively to promote it, and also performed on the Vans Warped Tour. Mae re-released The Everglow in 2006, adding three new songs and a two-hour DVD.
The band signed to Capitol Records for their third full-length album. Mae began recording the album in the fall of 2006, working with producer Howard Benson (who has produced albums for Saosin, My Chemical Romance, Blindside, and Relient K). The album, titled Singularity, was released in 2007.
The following year, Mae announced that they had split ways with Capitol Records. They also stated that they would embark on a new, experimental project, releasing one new song for each month of 2009. Each song would be available to download on their website for a minimum donation of $1, with proceeds going to humanitarian projects of Mae's choosing. Additionally, they would be compiling the monthly songs into three separate EPs entitled (m)orning, (a)fternoon and (e)vening.
In 2010, Mae announced that their upcoming "Goodbye, Goodnight" Tour would be their last for the foreseeable future, marking their indefinite hiatus. Mae reunited in 2015 to complete a reunion tour in commemoration of the 10-year anniversary of The Everglow.