Written by Hero Magnus

Occasionally, I have been sad, and done a good job of hiding it, until someone does something just a little bit nice. That inch of sweetness serves as a pinprick, and somehow I end up bawling my eyes out. If you need to cry, Judah Holiday’s new music video,“Sunshine in the Room,” can make that happen. We’re also super pumped to announce Judah’s album release date and title (details below)!

Holiday grew up in the Bronx and moved to Miami in 2011. He has a fascination with electronic dance music, reflaected subtly (and not-so-subtly) in his other work. But with “Sunshine in the Room,” he strips it back to the basics. In the best way, the song sounds like a lullaby.

“It was really fun to keep things simple and organic for this record. Production was actually challenging to not overcrowd the song. Alex Bilo who produced it with me did an incredible job. We just really hit record and then embellished meticulously around the acoustic + vocal.”

– Judah Holiday

The lyrics are simple, but it works because the title phrase — ‘Sunshine in the Room’– is so poignant. Coming back to that line grounds the song in something poetic. “When you open your eyes / you’ll be my sunshine in the room,” he sings, calling out in a mixture of longing and gratefulness. Each musical element is cleanly combined, and his harmonies are perfectly blended. Holiday has a stunning falsetto, which he floats into as he wonders: “if it was only tonight.” The melody and the lyrics are incredibly prosodic, emphasizing the same meaning. 

If the song makes you well up, the video will unleash the waterworks. “Sunshine in the Room” is almost like a short film. An older couple paints together, and then they go for a walk in the forest, where they begin to dance. As they do, they turn into younger versions of themselves, staring deeply into one another’s eyes. (The concept of this old couple dancing reminded me of Mitski’s phenomenal “Two Slow Dancers.” A very different vibe, but so worth listening to). 

The actual visuals are amazing, with lush scenery that you just want to jump right into. And in between shots of the couple, Holiday plays guitar, sitting and singing sadly in a room seeping with light. It’s as if every line in the song and every shot in the video was designed to spark the tears (and for me, that always works).

“Most people won’t realize because of the way the video pieces together, but my part was actually very simple in a room by myself in downtown Miami. Our director Scott Hansen and crew were amazing at putting together and shooting the rest with the actors/actresses involved. The whole process from pre-production to final cut was about 6-8 weeks. Shooting was only a few days though.”

– Judah Holiday

There are many interpretations of the video, too. Is the couple simply remembering what it was like to dance thirty or forty years before? Are they reinhabiting their bodies via imagination, falling in love again for the first time? Or were they really dancing as their younger selves?

“It illustrates the theme in a really cool way I think, with this amazing couple who have been lifelong loves and get transported back to being young together. Showing these scenes in parallel gives a glimpse to the life they’ve lived together. Of course in a montage of song and dance. It’s a very poetically correct video actually…”

– Judah Holiday

This complexity and a little bit of magic create a new layer of meaning for the lyrics. “If it’s only tonight / then I’m falling in love,” sings Holiday, which without the video just seems like love-at-first-sight. But with the video, it seems to refer to the first meeting which is recreated many years later, a continuous recurrent love.

“It’s a love song about going through the ups and down of relationships. How pushing through the storm can reveal the greatest reward on the other side. And ultimately having this sort of “soul mate” you can fall in love with over and over again through new moments in life. Each deeper and in different ways than the next.”

– Judah Holiday

“We’re losing time and daylight,” sings Holiday later, which has a great commentary on the ephemerality of life itself, and of love and uncertainty, but picks up a much more literal meaning in the context of the video–perhaps when they run out of daylight, they’ll have to be old again, close to losing each other.

In addition to premiering the official music video for Judah Holiday’s “Sunshine in the Room” (watch the official video below), we’re also happy to announce that Judah’s debut album Feelings in My Head (title tentative) is slated for a November 5th release! On the upcoming album release, which has been about a year in the making, Judah comments,

“Very excited about this release because it really marks a milestone for making the songs I’ve always wanted to make, in a way I feel really does them justice. People can expect some new shades of my sound that I’m excited / nervous to get feedback on. But this album has from upbeat fun pop records to striped down intimate songs.”

– Judah Holiday

Check out the official music video for “Sunshine in the Room” below and get ready for an amazing debut album release from Judah Holiday on November 5th!

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