Everything that comes out of MNEK‘s mouth is magical – including his “Tongue.”

The absurdly talented 23-year-old producer, songwriter and powerhouse belter has already put together a legendary CV for himself, writing and producing for everyone we stan forever – Dua Lipa, Kylie Minogue, Madonna, for Kabbalah’s sake – serving up bops on bops of his own over the years as well.

But now, he’s really getting down to business.

“Tongue” is the completely brilliant lead single from his eternally delayed, yet still-just-as-anticipated debut LP — and, as you’ll likely agree from the moment you hit the 00:37 mark, it’s one of the best things MNEK’s ever done, and one of the better bops to come out of 2018 thus far.

That spoken-word-slash-whisper chorus? That bassline? Yes. Yes. Oh, yes.

Gretchen Lick

While he might sound all sexy and seductive delivering those lines like he’s beckoning us into his boudoir (the pure fuckability of that chorus cannot be overstated), the truth is that MNEK’s actually, quite bashfully…admitting he’s in love and scared to say the words, as it’s never worked out before.

I’m putting both hands over my mouth / I can only hope nothing’s gonna come out / There it is, on the tip of my tongue… / I think I love you.

It’s like “Wait (The Whisper Song)” – just replace the dick with a massive heart.

Also, that bridge: “Tippy two, tippy tea, tippy-ta-ta-ta“? “Licky you, licky me, licky-la-la-la“? Clearly a “Woohoo” reference. Look at the enduring impact of Bionic!

The track only gets more bonkers as it goes on: as with most MNEK everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink productions, you’ll be discovering new sounds to appreciate with each replay for weeks to come. It’s busy, but comes together as one fresh, fierce, low-key sweet, high-key hot as hell confession of love. Justin Timberlake wishes he brought SexyBack like this on his latest go-around, honestly.

Go ahead, give it a taste. Just don’t burn your tongue.

Gretchen Lick

“Tongue” was released on March 1. (iTunes)

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Photo credit: Virgin EMI