Spring is here, and we need some music to accompany the change in season – something light, and sexy, radiant as an April morning, and as promising as the first warm nights. Just in time, something magnificent has blown in on the gentle breeze: I C U U C ME PT II, the latest project from the Brooklyn-based R&B singer Sebastian Mikael. We think you’ll agree that this is some of the freshest, most intoxicating, and most mesmerizing music released in 2019 in any genre, and we fully expect it to be scoring parties all summer. “Acid Pt. II”, the clip from the project, captures the heat and the hedonism of the song, but also its poise, its natural swagger, and its impeccable, runway-worthy sense of style.
Though Mikael is still a young artist, he’s made astounding strides since the release of the acclaimed Speechless album in 2014. His influences – like Maxwell, D’Angelo, and newer avant-R&B artists like Anna Wise, Anderson.Paak, and Kelela – are still apparent in everything he does, but he’s developed a singular sound and approach that feels simultaneously familiar and unprecedented. In a rave review, Bleu Mag recently called I C U U C ME PT II “a hypnotic, throwback, vintage journey,” and while that’s not inaccurate, the music Mikael is currently making looks to the future just as much as it nods to the past. It is, like everything about the artist, a perfect balance.
“Acid Pt. II” is brief, but it manages to pack in a staggering number of good musical ideas into two minutes of stunning artistic richness. Whining synthesizer and moody piano, machine beats and hand percussion, sweet saxophone and fretless bass, pillowy echoes, sweet harmonies and deep-voiced, near-wordless chants: everything locks together into an irresistible groove. No part overwhelms any of the others; instead, each instrument reinforces the moderate intensity of the track. The song whispers in, it seduces, and it leaves the listener wanting more.
The clip for “Acid Pt. II” catches Sebastian Mikael in performance, but this is no ordinary club or house show. The people at this party are beautiful: spectacularly dressed, confident, graceful on the dance floor, and joyful, too. There’s barely any separation between the star and his listeners – he’s practically amid the crowd as he sings, swept up in the rapturous beauty of the moment he’s creating.