By: Dean P. Johnson, Follow South Jersey Editor
South Jersey Singer-Songwriter Series will feature profiles on active singer-songwriters living, working, and performing in the South Jersey area.
PITMAN, N.J. – Turning the page of the calendar to another trip around the sun often compels people to reflect where they’ve been, where they are, and where they’re going. In singer-songwriter Jason Ager’s new single, “Imposter Looks at 40,” he does just that.
“The song was written after encountering a friend from high school who had started working at LaSalle University as their general counsel, and I still work there as an adjunct.” Ager said. “I couldn’t help but feel like he had accomplished so much in his time, and I’m ‘running around in a perpetual loop’ playing bar gigs and trying to get people to listen to my art.”
The song, “Imposter Looks at 40,” tells the story about a man who has just run into an old friend which has prompted him to look back on his life from a point of view that is not necessarily disappointment, but more bewilderment as he sings in the song’s chorus, “how I even got here, I just simply don’t understand.”
“Our sense of reality is a bit out of whack I think at times, and what is achievable,” Ager said. “Perhaps that leads to the immeasurable doubt I talk about in the chorus. Once we hit certain ages, people think we have it all put together, at least that’s the common perception, and I think that is a dangerous comparison to set ourselves up for.”
While admitting that making such comparisons is not wise, it appears we do this in spite of ourselves.
“Today I ran into an old friend of mine, he’s doin’ just fine,” Ager sings. “Not to compare, but man his life is big time, and his wife is a dime.”
While telling us that he is not comparing his life with his old friend’s, the comparisons flow through the song nonetheless.
“My friend, you know that we were promised the stars at just 17, but now I’m hiding in the diviest bars camouflage here in green,” Ager sings. While he sees his friend living up to those “promises,” the song’s protagonist is playing gigs in dive bars feeling a bit envious of others.
“I was raised in a time where we were told we could do anything our hearts desired,” Ager said, “and I do wonder about making those types of promises to young people because we are not always all successful in the same ways.”
Ager, who turns 40 this weekend, plays all of the instruments heard in the song including the acoustic guitar, harmonica, accordion, and tuba.
“It was entirely because of the pandemic,” Ager explained. “I didn’t feel like I would be as comfortable as I would need to really let loose and perform well in the studio with worries about Covid on my mind. So I ordered some mics and bought Logic for my Mac and taught myself how to track, at least a bit.”
Ager has been playing in bands and writing music since he was 16. An adjunct college professor and stay-at-home father, Ager grew up just outside of Northeast Philadelphia, but has lived in Vienna, Austria; Washington D.C./Northern Va; Baltimore; and currently resides in Pitman, and has been actively recording and releasing music for over ten years.
A poignant song about aging, “Imposter Looks At 40” boldly says what many in midlife are thinking.
“Overall though, I think this song is me being completely candid with the audience, saying that I still feel like an 18 year old with little idea of what the hell I’m doing, and I think that is relatable,” Ager said.
You can listen to “Imposter Looks At 40” on YouTube at https://youtu.be/xvzDsfZ90Cs.
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