Debut albums are sometimes a great peek into an artist’s possibility, but few ever show the true breadth of one’s ability. Giver Taker, the first album from Boston-based Anjimile is one of those. It’s an exhilarating piece that towers above the pack.
“Your Tree’ starts the record off with fingerpicked guitar and a short flute line. Their vocal, singing in an assured but delicate tone, is reminiscent of Sufjan Stevens. Under that is a voice that sounds a bit robotic, harmonizing with the main vocal as the track bleeds into strings. It’s an immediate attention grabber and sets the tone for a truly impressive record. “Baby No More” follows, followed by a light bossa-nova riff and sliding bass. Anjimile floats above the song, especially when it’s punctuating by a shifting shaker noise and synth hits. It's a track that sounds both classic and modern within the length of its runtime.
“1978” feels clouded but luminous, and the lyrics illuminate something else: “In the light, you're a miracle to behold/Truly/In the night it's a miracle to be held by you/What today can I make inside of my heart to you?” While some of these songs belie certain emotions in their tone, Anjimile’s lyrics stories reveal something much deeper.
The album is so impressive due to the bottomless well of creativity they pulled from making the record. “Maker” is a song that’s basically all vocal, sparse guitars and a sprinkling of drums, but feels full and vibrant despite how simple it can be broken down by each instrument.
The title track builds on a synth line and looping piano keys, two voices duetting as the track swells, but never crests. The piano drips into a twinkle while the synths peak. The voices never really change timbre. It’s really an impressive piece that builds a soundscape and maintains it without blowing it wide open.
Giver Taker is a stunning debut from an artist that is very clearly going to remake their roadmap however they see fit. It almost feels as if the next record from Anjimile will sound nothing like this one. That’s okay, because it’s bound to be just as engaging and exciting as this one is.
- Brendan Hilliard, Obviate Media