It’s been over two years since Miguel released his junior effort Wildheart, the album that earned him two Grammy Award nominations; spawned the single “Coffee”; and became his highest-charting LP upon shooting to No. 2 on the Billboard chart. Since then, he’s remained irritatingly silent on the solo front, but on Monday (July 3) he finally teased new material. While visiting Snoop Dogg’s GGN show, the singer told the legendary host:
“I feel like I’ve been creating three projects simultaneously, so the one that’s the most complete is what I’m kinda wrapping up right now. And we got a single on the way, too.”
Giving Snoop a preview of the untitled track (at the 12:15 mark), fans can hear the singer continue to dominate his created space of genre-bending, boundary-less alt-R&B. He impresses, this time, with urgent runs and ad-libbed yelps over finger snaps and a funkified bassline. It's the kind of groove we've come to expect from the singer, but one we've yet to have grown sick of. If anything, it's a reminder that he's always applauded, but still underappreciated.
Though the song, due next month, would mark his first official single since Wildheart's "Waves" (which saw far-reaching remixes from both Tame Impala and Travis Scott) and will likely help usher in Miguel’s new era, that’s not to say he’s been resting all this time. Since then, he’s collaborated, soundtracked, and guested on a number of tracks, and while we wait for the new season, let’s revisit the old:
Mac Miller, "Weekend" (2016)
A standout from GO:OD AM, that we once dubbed "one of [its] wooziest numbers," Mac recruits Miguel for catchy introspection punctuated by piano keys and strings.
"Come Through and Chill" (produced by Salaam Remi) (2016)
A Soundcloud one-off shared by the singer, Miguel details the late-night text send-off in the sultriest of ways: with a simple acoustic guitar and some percussive taps.
ScHoolboy Q, "Overtime"
We kind of understood when SBQ admitted that he wasn't a fan of this Blankface collabo, calling it the result of "label shit"; even we admitted it was a "mood shift" that "didn't quite fit the bill." But a bad Miguel song is still a good one so the issues seemed like water under the bridge when it came time to shoot the visual.
Pulled from the soundtrack for Netflix's The Get Down, there's a blunt strumming that keeps the beat like a metronome, funky upbeat horns, a string crescendo so steep it sounds like a siren, and fuzzy reverberation. Leave it to him to so authentically match the music to the era.
Beyonce, "Crazy In Love" (Cover) (2016)
First heard in the trailer for 50 Shades Darker, Miguel turned the Queen Bey's once-funky classic into a haunting, downtempo track full of somber piano chords, an urgent pounding pick-up, and his own echoed, eerie, and on-edge vocals.
French Montana, "XPlicit" (2016)
Though MC4 never saw the light of the day in the way that it was intended to—a studio album that was leaked, scrapped, and eventually released as a free mixtape—what did remain was this collabo, worthy of even a music video, that saw Miguel carry much of the crooning for the slow-moving trap.
John Legend, "Overload" (2016)
A collabo so obvious you're surprised it hadn't already existed, the two men alternate taking the lead, offer up supportive backing vocals when they're not center stage, and hit their respective falsettos over horns and strumming. Stay for the jazzy breakdown.
DJ Premier, "2 LOVIN U" (2017)
Nearly three years after playing the DJ Premier collabo "Damned" on his Instagram, Miguel and the producer shared the track's, re-titled final version. And thank goodness they did. It's a funky upbeat tune with reverb-drenched guitar, turntable scratches, and samples of classic "Damn!" exclamations.
Dua Lipa, "Lost In Your Light" (2017)
RL Grime, "Stay For It" (2017)
An unexpected venture into EDM, Miguel assists in building the crescendo with haunting verses, passionate key changes and, finally, a perfectly-timed precursor to Grime's anticipated drop. Honestly, there's no doubt that it's his presence that keeps this from becoming cliche.