Semler’s bookends of Preacher’s Kid and Late Bloomer found humor, hurt, and healing at the intersection of queerness and faith and ignited grassroots support for the artist who began booking shows around the US – both headlining and sharing stages with Katie Pruitt and Relient K. Semler takes a leap of faith in questioning aspects of Christian culture and Christian responses to the LGBTQIA+ community through satire, love, and earnest feelings of hurt. Semler’s steady growth and candid songs & content have both touched a nerve and united a community, not to mention earned the attention of hundreds of thousands of listeners eagerly awaiting their next project.
Stages of a Breakdown continues this momentum through a hard-hitting, brutally honest narrative of an EP. Over a two-week period in December 2021, Semler’s oldest friendship devolved into a total collapse because of anti-queer religious sentiment. Through the accusations, late-night text messages, and heartbreak, Semler wrote Stages… each song capturing a piece of what Semler felt during those two weeks.
The first track “You’re Not My Friend,” released as a single with accompanying music video on April 1, 2022, is cathartic, tongue-in-cheek storytelling and sets the stage for the narrative to unfold. Next, “Don’t Tell Anyone” is a sultry, indie-pop bop written from Semler’s ex-friend’s perspective. “Twenties” then provides Semler’s response to that judgment and loss of love. The final tracks, “Raise Up” and “Outro,” narrate a resolution to the pain and find Semler once again searching for divinity amidst chaos.