On July 21, Tony nominee Ethan Slater (SpongeBob SquarePants) releases his new EPLife Is Weird.
Mike Dobson, who served as the live foley artist and foley designer for SpongeBob, joins Slater on the album, expanding on their previous EP Wanderer. Proceeds from the album will go to The National Bail Fund and Protect Native Elders, “a 100% volunteer-based organization [...] getting PPE and other necessities to Native American communities across the country.”
“We’d like to start by saying that in a time where energy, and money, needs to be focused on the importance of Black Lives in the face of systemic oppression, and BIPOC disproportionately affected by COVID19, it feels difficult to go on releasing art as though the world is just ‘weird’ and not unjust,” Slater said in a statement. In that vein, the album serves as a benefit to those communities.
The EP features three songs: a cover of the Phoenix song “Lisztomania” and two originals “Life Is Weird” and “Under the Cathedral.”
“The Life Is Weird EP has, in some ways, been a long time coming,” said Slater. “The three songs all speak to a certain element of my growing up and seizing the moment, whatever that means. When I was performing on Broadway, I got to hear from a lot of young people who reached out with a lot of questions about ‘life.’ Things there was no way I could answer. And it made me think about myself in high school, and the anxiety of all those unanswerable questions (which I never solved). So I wrote Life Is Weird, to make some sense of my experience going through that.
“Under the Cathedral is about standing under the spires of the National Cathedral in Washington DC. I was 20 years old and deciding in what direction my life would go. Would I ask out the girl I felt I was in love with, or return up north having never risked it? At the time it seemed like the most significant moment EVER. And now, it's still pretty important to me. She and I got married last year.
“My ultimate goal with this EP is to reach the very same audience that had been reaching out to me,” Slater added. “Because we all have unanswerable questions. And life is weird.”