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Boomkat Product Review:
Anjimile's sophomore full-length is described by the artist as "an album of curses" that explores what it means to be a Black trans person in America. Features appearances from Sam Gendel, Big Thief's James Krivchenia, Brad Allen Williams and Justine Bowe.
It's hard to believe that almost every sound on 'The King' comes from Anjimile's voice and his acoustic guitar. On the opening, title track, he sings a confused lament over choral echoes that get more and more chaotic as the song develops. His guitar plucks are mutated into Philip Glass-inspired rollercoaster prangs, and the dissonance between the elements adds a level of tension that perfectly captures the concept.
Anjimile's Sufjan Stevens influence is clearly visible on 'Mother', as he sings softly over looped voices and fluttered strums, and on 'Genesis', his vocals snake in-and-out of musicbox chimes and sensitive gospel cries. It's a disarming muddle of influences that speaks to Anjimile's formative experiences singing in choirs and listening to his dad's Oliver Mtukudzi CDs in the car. On 'Father', tightly coiled acoustic guitar phrases dance beneath Anjimile as he sings "where is your father." And as the album evolves, darker elements rise to the surface: 'Black Hole' is a gloomy blend of distorted percussion and theatrical vocals, and 'I Pray' is a breezy gospel meditation that descends into pitch-shifted doom.