Ethan Slater (Photo: lev radin/Shutterstock)
By Matthew Wexler
Nominated for a Tony Award for his title role in SpongeBob SquarePants, Ethan Slater returns with a three-track EP Life is Weird. The wistful pop ballads are a follow-up release to Slater’s previous EP Wanderer.
Written and recorded over the past year with collaborator Mike Dobson (Tony nominee for his sound design for SpongeBob SquarePants), the atmospheric tracks harken back to the actor’s pre-Broadway days, drawing from memories and life experiences for “Under the Cathedral.” And while the second track, “Life is Weird,” began long before the coronavirus pandemic or Black Lives Matter movement, Slater’s work still reflects today’s current climate. And if you listen closely, Slater’s vocals harken back to a young John Cameron Mitchell circa Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
“Right now it’s a little bit hard to fathom the idea of putting out art that just says ‘life is weird,’” Slater shared in an interview with HuffPost. “We’re in a really tough spot in the world for a number of reasons. Life isn’t just weird right now, it’s also pretty unjust. We’re living in a time of a pandemic, but we’re also reckoning with systemic oppression that has been at the core of this country forever.” Proceeds from EP sales will be donated to the National Bail Fund Network and Protect Native Elders.
With rehearsals for Classic Stage Company’s revival of Assassins cut short, in which Slater was cast as Lee Harvey Oswald, the actor has temporarily relocated to Los Angeles to concentrate on writing projects. If Life is Weird is any indication, there’s plenty more to come from the 28-year-old actor.
Matthew Wexler is The Broadway Blog’s editor. Read more of his work at wexlerwrites.com.