March ‘Stratton Playlist’ Spotlight – Sunny State Releases New ‘Human’ Single to Unify Quarantined Fans

Sunny State’s latest single, “Human,” reminds people about being compassionate and unified during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sunny State understands the concept of “Human” nature.

In their latest single, “Human,” the San Jose, Calif., reggae fusion sextet eloquently reminds people about being compassionate and unified during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The whole idea of the song is that we’re all human, and we all have our struggles. We’re all alone in this, but our solitude in it actually brings us together and unifies us because we’re all going through the same struggle right now,” said Chris Reed, Sunny State’s lead vocalist, ukulelist and guitarist.

Released Friday and featured as part of this month’s “The Stratton Playlist,” “Human” blends uplifting ukulele, brilliant electric guitar, deep bass, rhythmic bongo slaps and intermittent drum taps into a radiating, inspirational anthem for society’s growing battle against the coronavirus.

Along with Sunny State’s vibrant instrumentation, Reed beautifully sings, “I wanna be the best version of me/Rise with a smile, not need the caffeine/Embracing the moment, not letting it weigh me down/Remembering life’s a gift with a beautiful crown/We’re just human.”

While timely and relevant, “Human” wasn’t initially meant to be Sunny State’s third and latest single from their upcoming debut album. The band’s guitarist, Julian, encouraged Reed to release the single early as way to bring peace, comfort and solidarity to their fans.

“All this COVID-19 stuff had just happened. Everyone was going on lockdown, and I was just watching all these videos of people in Italy. The next day, I was talking to Julian, and he mentioned again how much he liked ‘Human,’” Reed said.

“I asked him, ‘Do you think it’s crazy to release ‘Human’ instead as a single? I feel like it’s a very honest and a self-reflective time.’ He said, ‘No, I think it’s a great idea. We’re all absolutely self-reflective, and we’re going to be doing this for a while.’”

The band also released a new live acoustic performance for “Human” today via Facebook and Instagram. It features Tyler (guitar), James (percussion), Freddie (bass), Roman (keys), Julian and Reed each performing in their individual quarantines. Each member is featured on screen via separate feeds that are brought and recorded together.

Over the next month, Sunny State will continue their “together apart” approach while recording their full-length debut album, which will drop later this year. Reed and his bandmates have been emailing files back and forth to polish and finalize the untitled album’s remaining tracks.

Since forming the band in 2019, Sunny State has released two other powerful singles, the romantic ode to lifelong love, “When You Know,” and the freedom and stewardship anthem, “Solutions.”

In addition to Sunny State, the March edition of “The Stratton Playlist” includes uplifting, groovy and memorable tracks from The Steve Taylor Three, The DayNites, Pajamas, Border Patrol, Ohly, Maggie Schneider, Meredith Shock and 24 more.


Summer Breeze – Sunny State Radiates Warmth, Positivity on Latest ‘When You Know’ Single

Sunny State emits positive vibes through their uplifting reggae fusion. Photo by Arabela Espinoza

Sunny State keeps summer’s bright, carefree spirit alive well into the dark days of winter.

The San Jose, Calif., reggae fusion sextet instantly transports listeners to a three-minute mind trip filled with calm breezes, warm rays and stolen moments on their latest single, “When You Know.” It’s the kind of uplifting sonic magic that keeps people young at heart, full of love and ready for adventure.

“Life can be so heavy that we really need to enjoy the ability to let loose ourselves and embrace the positive vibes that music can bring to us. I think that’s just a byproduct of what we get to share with other people,” said Chris Reed, Sunny State’s lead vocalist, ukulelist and guitarist. “They get to forget their worries for that amount of time they’re listening to us in their car or on the dance floor while we’re playing live.”

When You Know” also celebrates Reed’s longtime relationship with his wife and reminisces about their first date as teenagers while driving south along U.S. 101 toward Los Angeles.

Bright acoustic guitars and vibrant synths fill the ears as swaying reggae island bass floods the soul – “First it was a drive in my blue ’69/Didn’t have no map/We just headed south/We pulled off the road/Got out and climbed that hill/It was our first kiss/I was under your spell.”

“I’ve loved that woman for so long now through all the ups and downs that every relationship goes through. The birth of our first daughter, Violet, catapulted my love to the next level, and then a second time with Indigo,” Reed said. “I mean there’s so much love there. We joke around with our kids like how can we feel this much love for them, and our relationship together prefaced from that.”

Continue reading “Summer Breeze – Sunny State Radiates Warmth, Positivity on Latest ‘When You Know’ Single”