Life is a never ending journey and there are plenty of milestones along the way. For many people, one life checkpoint is the quarter life crisis. What do you do when you hit 25 years old and you don’t know if you’re on the right track? Well, Charles On TV’s new track “Quarter Century” might make you feel a bit better.
The latest release from the New York-native, Charles On TV contemplates his life journey, compares himself to his peers, and asks quintessential questions about who he is and who he should be. With lyrics like, When I forget to dream / A thousand aspirations die / A quarter century / Afraid that I’ve been wasting time, many a listener will find these worries relatable.
“I’m sure many people can relate to the idea that sometimes, we wish we could go back and do it all over again,” said the 26-year-old performer. “For me, I think about how I should have come out earlier, chose my friends more wisely, and maybe even approached my music career differently. I have been stuck in an unhealthy cycle of comparing myself to others; Instead of being encouraged by my achievements, I’ve been feeling discouraged by what I haven’t achieved.”
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Although heavy and pensive in lyrics, the accompanying production makes the song as light as a summer breeze – as if a song from the Bee Gees and Gorillaz merged into one super track. This same style can be found in music of Snoh Aalegra, Kali Uchis, and Tyler the Creator, the last of which inspires the singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist.
Joined by Charles On TV’s bright, indie pop and jazz-tinged baritone (as if Troye Sivan and Michael Bublé’s voices fused), “Quarter Century” flows through your ears effortlessly. Maybe you’ll be inspired to reflect on your own journey, but you’ll definitely find this 70s pop-inspired track pleasing to the ears.
And when paired with the music video, all of Charles On TV’s lyrics hit closer to home. Directed by Dylan Siegel and shot in Los Angeles, California, Charles On TV traverses through different Californian landscapes reflecting on life as he knows it.
As a multi-hyphenate artist, Charles On TV mixes new wave jazz, funk, synth soul, and pop with satirical and introspective lyrics to create a sound that’s fresh and nostalgic at the same time. His debut single “Love” highlights his queer journey of sexual discovery, whereas his single “Strongman” covers the social and political unrest of 2020. Charles On TV released his first EP Truth & Lies in 2021, which became an eclectic ode to his music career in a world of uncertainties.
After the release of his 2022 song “Another Reason Why”, Charles On TV is back with “Quarter Century”, but still asking the existential questions and trying to understand the world around him.
“This song is the devil and angel on your shoulder, one telling you to give up and one telling you to never stop believing in your dreams.”
Check out the video for “Quarter Century” below: