About Sleep State

“Awkward” is a single that evokes the sense of social anxiety
that largely characterized lead singer and guitarist Troy Ritchie’s experience
in high school. Primarily about a girl whom Ritchie, admittedly, doesn’t know
very well but has nonetheless placed on a pedestal, the lyrics will be
relatable to anyone who recalls adolescence as a time of petty drama or
isolation. While derived from real-life experiences, the girl in “Awkward”
symbolizes a phase in Ritchie’s development as a person, rather than representing
any one person or relationship. Ritchie seamlessly weaves hyperbole with stark
realism to demonstrate how the smallest blunder was cause for enormous
embarrassment.

The track reaches its climax with a
watershed moment that sees Ritchie come to the epiphany that adhering to social
pressures or overly concerning oneself with the opinions of other is not only
exhausting, but also a counterproductive waste of time and energy. In Ritchie’s
words, “I hope listeners take the song as an invitation to liberate themselves
from the shackles of self-consciousness and the unhealthy focus our society
puts on the individual to be popular or likeable.” In “Awkward,” Ritchie
exposes a vulnerable side of himself that fans may not have known existed.

Sleep State spawned from the potent Southern California Rock
scene in 2013 when Orange County locals and longtime friends, Troy Ritchie
(guitar, lead vocals) and Michael Haua (keyboard, vocals), began performing at
local restaurants, bars, and small venues. While the pair’s obvious raw talent
immediately drew a following, it was clear that the music was lacking
something.

After a gig the following year, the two were approached by
Parker Jackson (drums) who expressed interest in collaborating. It didn’t take
long before Sleep State traded in a drum machine for live percussion, and the
duo grew into a trio. With an official lineup established, the band set out to
find a producer who would resonate with their vibe and vision. They found one
in Adrian Alvarado, known for
his work with Act As If and Secrets.

The summer of 2015 was a
turning point for the upstart group with the release of two singles, “Make a
Move” and “Tether.” Featured on notable California music blogs, Buzz Bands
LA and Free Bike Valet respectively, the band’s debut tracks were
received with sweeping praise. The wistful, melancholic tone of “Tether” was
accompanied by a music video and exhibited an intensely earnest side of Ritchie
that was not on display in the more upbeat “Make a Move.”

Autumn of the same year, on
the heels of these early triumphs, the band rewarded their fast-growing, loyal
fan base with the release of a five song EP which immediately garnered
accolades from fans and professional musicians alike. “Tether” was quickly
picked up by Starbucks to appear on its internationally streamed playlist,
while the catchy fan-favorite, “Shook Up,” was featured on LA’s tastemaker
NPR-affiliate, KCRW.
The band’s success continued to snowball into 2016, with songs featuring on
MTV’s Teen Mom 2 and ABC’s Nashville. That summer, they released
a single, “Making up the Rules”. The new song displayed the band’s evolving
musicianship and Ritchie’s development into a profound songwriter.

In February 2017, “Make a
Move” appeared on CBS’s “Bull,” and more recently, “Tether” hit 600,000 plays
on Spotify. Sleep State shows no signs of slowing down in 2018, with plans to
release two new singles: “Awkward” and “Disco Destiny,” produced by Jose
Alcantar, who has worked with the likes of The Doobie Brothers and Kenny Chesney.