Highlighting the artistic shift from Giver Taker to now, ‘The King’ opens with a lofty, melodic choir, an intro that belies the song’s motives. Suddenly, sinister arpeggios interrupt the reverie, and the voices grow darkly serious. Deeply steeped in the confusion, grief, and rage of being Black in America, ‘The King’ pushes back against the tired adage, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” hissing, “What don ’t kill you almost killed you// What don’t fill you//pains you// drains you.”
“If Giver Taker was an album of prayers, The King is an album of curses.” In his second album, Anjimile continues exploring what it means to be a Black trans person in America. The brutally honest reflection of 2020’s deadly summer is less reminiscent of the pink cloud of early sobriety and more rooted in the reality of seeing brutality with clear eyes. Drawing from influences ranging from religion, Phillip Glass, and lived experiences, the album is a grand step forward for Anjimile.
Nearly every sound you hear on The King comes from two instruments: an acoustic guitar and Anjimile’s own voice. Other than a few beautiful contributions from Justine Bowe, Brad Allen Williams, Sam Gendel, and James Krivchenia (Big Thief), the album is the result of a year in LA working intimately with Grammy and Juno winner Shawn Everett.
Tracklist1. The King
8. Black Hole
9. I Pray
10. The Right