New York singer and songwriter Charles on TV returns to us this week with "Strongman," a quirky and eclectic single that sees an unlikely combination of jazz, pop, and funk. Perfect for late nights out with your friends, or a listless day at the beach, "Strongman" features a steady and jazzy mix on which Charles sings over piano chords and basslines straight out of the 70s. Mixing the mysterious and self-aware humor of Thundercat with a soundfont straight out of Tyler, The Creator's arsenal, Charles on TV provides fans with a track that is truly unique.
"Strongman" is genre-mixing at its finest, with Charles on TV's reverberating vocals flowing smoothly over a funk-laden mix and saxophone melody. The sheer ambient dreaminess of his composition almost sounds as if Kevin Parker had made "Plastic Beach" instead of the Gorillaz - the crossover I didn't know I needed until now. Borrowing elements of jazz and funk, Charles sings about a feeling of powerlessness in the wake of crushing authoritarianism. The message is universally relatable, and is one that almost everyone regardless of class, race, or gender can identify with. Charles has not entirely lost hope, however, as his writing carries a subtle confidence and consciousness that is amplified by his thoughtfully impressive vocal performance.
After what seemed like a long hiatus since last year's "Love," a romantic and introspective track on identity and revelation, Charles on TV has finally returned with "Strongman." This is Charles' second single from his upcoming debut EP, set to drop this spring. Since the project is not going to be released until March, you should have more than enough time to get lost in Charles on TV's uncanny eeriness before then.