Miguel can seduce you from across the room. Miguel can seduce you while opening a tin of beans. Miguel can seduce you without even trying, and that's perfectly fine. The singer, songwriter and occasional actor from California makes raunchy R&B flecked with elements of classic rock that would have made Prince, a fine template of a comparison, take a second glance.
Diving deep into the erotic fantasies of others in his music, he plays those intimate thoughts out on his guitar, with his smooth voice running along gently until he comes to an abrupt halt – pausing to inhale, while breathing you in entirely – and then lets out a scream. A Miguel song is a journey, and as our nomination for this week’s New VBF, we just want to go along for the ride. We know we’re being thirsty but … please. Let us have this one.
War & Leisure is the singer's fourth album, and it's not as sexually explicit as 2015's Wildheart or 2012's Kaleidoscope Dream. The themes are a little more carefree. But even at that, when Miguel struts into the room, he sits on a chair AC Slater style to get your attention. There's a swagger that's rare in the pop habitat these days. While he's no D'Angelo, he's certainly filthier than Bruno Mars, cooler than Justin Timberlake, more self-assured than Frank Ocean but not as much as Lenny Kravitz. At 5ft 5in, he has a presence of T Rex proportions, with flirtations that go from a whisper to a roar in 30 seconds flat.
The self-described late bloomer was raised by his very religious mother, who moonlighted as a preacher, so stayed away from all forms of temptation until his college years, where, on the advice of his father, he learned to explore everything he could.
Reared on the music of Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Queen, the spirit and the flamboyance of the sexual revolution soundtracked his own, resulting in songs such as Coffee and the very X-rated The Valley – find a quiet place to listen to that one.
He has written songs for Usher, Beyoncé, John Legend and Jessie Ware. Often his songwriting is minimal, relying on how he emphasises certain words to make a point. On his 2012 single Adorn, it's how he works the oohs and strains the climactic words, conjuring up a moment of pleasure so personal you feel like maybe you should leave the room.
With all that, eh, tension, he blows off steam on War & Leisure and leaves the boudoir for a brief stint to enjoy life, skimming off verses with rapper Travis Scott on the self-boosting song Skywalker, while on Banana Clip, my God does he know how to make a beat that stays with you and brings an extra level of joy to your day. Miguel knows how to make a music for every mood, and if you haven't already had him with your morning coffee, now is the time.
This week we are unfriending . . . Lena Dunham
Lena Dunham, best known for creating and starring in HBO's Girls, is at it again. Author and writer Zinzi Clemmons recently tweeted that she will no longer contribute to Lenny, Dunham's feminist newsletter with longtime friend and Girls producer Jenni Konner, following their misguided remarks on the sexual assault of actress Aurora Perrineau by Girls writer Murray Miller, in which they support Miller. Although Dunham has since apologised for her response, Clemmons also accuses Dunham of "hipster racism", which is the use of sarcasm to cover up racist comments. Pass Dunham the pamphlet on intersectional feminism again please.