Semler is a queer artist that has returned with another smash hit on the iTunes Christian charts with their new EP titled “Late Bloomer.” This EP follows the widespread success of Selmer’s first release, “Preacher’s Kid,” which was another set of songs that topped the Christian charts in 2021. All of this success is incredibly well-earned, of course, as “Late Bloomer” in particular is a beautiful anthem that explores the themes of hurt and healing while questioning what it really means to be an LGBTIA+ person practicing under the Christian faith. It’s incredibly heartfelt and relatable to those who fit into the same shoes as them, as each individual song tackles a different aspect of life that is definitely hard to navigate at times.

“Psalm 102” begins with a gritty sound combined with harsher visuals. Semler tells us to picture them, saying “I am too wasted to eat, my bones cling to my skin, I am an owl in a desert.” The track is immensely somber, as Semler calls out to God, begging that the misdeeds done to people like them would “be recorded for a generation to come.”

“Prodigal Girl” asks a multitude of questions that are received to a deaf ear of answers. The track is about leaving those who don’t accept you for who you are, and the swarm of ‘what if’ questions that follows in the years to come. Ultimately, Semler goes through reasons of why their parents aren’t present in their story anymore, and emphasizes the horrible speculations of not being good enough that not being accepted comes with.

“I’d Rather Be A Ghost” speaks of the pains that being born into the wrong body comes with. This hurt is accentuated in the lines “what’s a body but a cage, that keeps me weak, it keeps me strange,” and for all other lines Semler spares no detail in expressing the thoughts that cis-identifying people will never have to experience. “I’d Rather Be A Ghost” is eye-opening as Semler crafts their words in a incredibly beautiful and vulnerable manner.

“Wanna Grab Coffee?” expresses the love Semler has for the Savior, even if He’d have “some notes to go through” at the end of it all. In this track, Semler recognizes that they are still loved, that “God knows religion is hard,” and that even if they died today, they would still qualify for the promise that the Bible provides of spending eternity in heaven.

“Late Bloomer,” the track deserving of the EP’s title, covers how many younger LGBTIA+ people are forced into essentially being a late bloomer. Semler cover how lots of their younger years were spent being confused on who they were, covered in the lines “I wish I could’ve been myself sooner, ask me about my past, and I’ll say I never knew her.” The track is relatively soft spoken, yet so powerful in its message, it’s sure to hit the hearts of anyone that can relate in a deeper level.

“Hallelujah (In Your Arms)” ends the EP in Semler confirming their faith once more, spoken in the lines “I don’t know where I start, but you are where I end.” Life is filled with uncertainties combined with multitudes of ups-and-downs, but Semler finds solace in the fact that they will always be safe in the arms of God.

The entirety of “Late Bloomer” can be viewed here. This EP was incredibly touching for me, as I myself am an LGBTIA+ Christian. From the artistry to its messages, “Late Bloomer” will be an EP that I will be coming back to for a very long time.

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