Anjimile has returned with the announcement of The King, his second full-length album, due on September 8th via 4AD. The singer-songwriter also shared the album’s title track.
The King is Anjimile’s first album since 2020’s Giver Taker, and shows a deliberate, more somber side of the songwriter, who Consequence CoSigned in 2020. Entwined with religious themes, the new album takes a stark look at the reality of the Black trans experience in America, tearing back facades to discuss the sheer brutality of bigotry and marginalization, especially in light of the social and political turmoil of the early ‘20s.
The title track and lead single, “The King,” captures this theme. Referring to the Biblical story of King Belshazzar and Daniel — in which the latter informs the former of the “writing on the wall,” warning of a coming fall from grace for the king — the song begins with an ethereal choral soundscape. As harmonic tension builds, an electronic arpeggio bursts in, serving as the engine beneath Anjimile’s smooth vocals. By the time the single reaches its climax, the once-ethereal choral setting collapses into a chaotic frenzy of sound and expression.
Lyrically, Anjimile rejects empty platitudes like “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” in lieu of more acute observations. “What don’t kill you almost killed you,” he sings. “What don’t fill you/ pains you, drains you.” Yet, for as much as Anjimile isn’t sugar-coating things, this is not hopeless music, not by a long shot. If anything, it seemingly serves as a warning to those in power who support a system of marginalization and violence. There may be a “king on high,” but the writing is on the wall: the king will fall.
The video for “The King” was created by Daniela Yohannes, who is also for the new album’s cover art. Watch the animated visualizer below, and then keep scrolling to see the artwork and tracklist for The King.
Pre-orders for The King are ongoing. The album will also be Anjimile’s first record released through 4AD. In 2021, when he first signed with the label, he released the one-off single “Stranger.”
The King Artwork: