Grace Baldridge, who many know as Semler, is an on-the-rise musician who is openly queer and writes about her Christian upbringing. This week, she announced that she would be joining Christian rock band Relient K as the opening act on their upcoming “Um Yeah Tour,” which starts in February.
Baldridge made a name for herself in 2021 after two of her EP’s hit the number one spot on the iTunes Christian Albums chart, both times knocking off Grammy Award winning Christian artist Lauren Daigle’s “Look Up Child” from the top spot.
“Um, yeah. I’ll be joining @relientK on tour this year. I fully can’t believe it. Tickets are selling really fast so make your move and see you on the road,” Baldridge tweeted. Baldridge stated that “Relient K is about to have a bunch of gays at their shows this spring now.”
As a daughter of an Episcopalian priest, Baldrige talks about her struggles with same-sex attraction while growing up in a church youth group and regularly uses explicit language on her albums to get her point across. For example, Semler wrote a song entitled “TobyMac” that was released last year and explained her troubles making a mixtape for her girlfriend because all she listened to was Christian music from bands like DC Talk, Relient K, and Switchfoot.
“I wanna make my girl a mixtape of love songs she’d know were just from me. But the only songs I know are Christian, so I have to think strategically,” the lyrics read. In the same song Baldridge writes that “Relient K f**cking got my a** through college.”
Similarly, on her song “Youth Group” from her EP “Preacher’s Kid,” Baldrige includes explicit lyrics to discuss teens having their sexual awakening at a youth group lock-in. ”Youth group lock-ins are really strange concepts that youth group leaders seem to really like. It’s like, ‘Let’s take some repressed hormonal teenagers and put ’em in church and hope they find Jesus overnight,’” she writes.
“Like Jesus is a ghost hidin’ in the church and if you just stay long enough you’ll find him,” Baldrige continues. “But in my experience, the only thing you find is your sexuality…This one’s for the kids who have their sexual awakening at the youth group lock-in; it must have been confusing.”
She then talks about church camp and how it messed her life up, singing, “At church camp youth group, they really tried it on us. Now we’re grown up and we’re f**ked up. Is there still a God we can trust?”