Anjimile, the budding North Carolina-based singer-songwriter, has released a new one-off track, “Stranger,” his first for new label 4AD.
“Stranger” begins with a steely run of acoustic finger-picking, but the sonic palette swiftly expands, peaking with a euphoric exhale of horns and backing vocals. “You said you wanted a change,” Anjimile sings, “I think I’m haunted/My name will never be the same.”
In a statement, Anjimile described “Stranger” as “a confrontation between my past and present selves in relationship to my trans identity. I started testosterone about three or four years ago, and it’s been simultaneously liberating and alarming to note the changes to my mind and body over the years. ‘Stranger’ is an admission to myself that, while I welcome all of those changes — especially the deepening effect of testosterone on my singing and speaking voice — it’s still scary and there is a degree of internal ambivalence to my transition. In transitioning I lost, or gave up, a part of myself. And that is hard to reconcile. ‘Stranger’ is an attempt at some semblance of reconciliation, I guess.”
“Stranger” marks Anjimile’s first new song since releasing his debut album, Giver Taker, last fall. In May, he released a three-track EP, Reunion, featuring remixes of Giver Taker tracks by Jay Som, Sasami, and Lomelda.
In an Artist You Need to Know profile in Rolling Stone last year, Anjimile offered a hint at what his next new music might sound like, saying, “It seems like there’s a lot of protest songs in my heart, and a lot of grief, and a lot of chromatic shit is happening for some reason. I’m thinking it’s gonna get weird. I’d like to keep expanding the definition of what my sound is.”