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Semler, 'Jesus From Texas'

This #NowPlaying discovery comes to us from this year's Tiny Desk Contest. You can see Semler on the latest installment of the Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf livestreaming series with guest host Jewly Hight of WNXP.

"I write Christian music about being gay," Grace Baldridge, who performs as Semler, proclaims at the top of her 2021 Tiny Desk Contest entry. On "Jesus From Texas," a track off her aptly titled EP Preacher's Kid, Baldridge grapples with the challenges of growing up Christian and queer. "Oh what a terrible honor it's been," she sings over an uplifting, almost-educational, folk melody, "to learn that my blessings are things you call sins." Baldridge's sentimental songwriting is packed with remarkable precision; it finds her wading in faith's questioning waters as she navigates fragile relationships with wisdom and searches relentlessly for understanding.

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Elle Mannion