The song features a distorted loop from a concert in New York City that Anohni performed in her early twenties. “Trump is on the rise,” she sings. “He’s gonna execute the dream.”
Anohni described the new single as “pretty rough.” “That’s me screaming in the past…for the present,” she said.
“I watched the Republican National Convention last week,” she wrote. “It’s becoming harder to put into words the dread that many of us feel. What’s really happening? Toxic levels of corruption and collusion are devouring the U.S. Christian extremists want to turn the country into a religious state straight out of The Handmaid’s Tale.”
“After bombarding us with media campaigns pressuring us not to wear masks in March and April, the U.S. now accounts for 22% of all Covid-19 deaths worldwide,” she added. “I personally know three New Yorkers who died in April, I believe as a result of this official guidance.”
Elsewhere in the essay, Anohni reflected on Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016, when his team described him as the first presidential candidate since Harry Truman with “the guts” to “drop the bomb.” “Trump stood there, grinning with pride, and a wave of nausea spread through me,” she wrote. “I had the same feeling a few months ago, when I heard Trump utter the words ‘the Chinese virus.'”
“What waits for us on the other side of this is a world undone by endless cataclysm and aching with senseless loss?” she added. “Can you visualize a different path forward? We all have to focus on this now, with everything we’ve got.”
“R.N.C. 2020” follows Anohni’s recent covers of Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” and Nina Simone’s “Be My Husband.” Both renditions will be released on vinyl on October 2nd.