On his 2020 debut album Giver Taker, singer-songwriter Anjimile brought a mix of influences — a love of Sufjan Stevens, technical knowledge from singing in youth choir, the African pop of his parents' childhood — to some very personal themes; namely, his gender transition and how it impacted his faith and sense of self. "Stranger," a new one-off single and his first new song since that record, is a stirring, introspective track that brings a lush sound to his continued meditation on these themes.
Anjimile describes "Stranger" as "something of a confrontation" between his past and present selves as related to his trans identity. "It's been simultaneously liberating and alarming to note the changes to my mind and body over the years" since beginning to medically transition, he says in a press release. The song reflects that ambivalence and gratitude: At its climax, Anjimile sings about what it might mean to "never be the same," and as the music swells beneath him, he manages to sound both cautious and triumphant.
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