By: Jordan Calvano
At this time last year, Seven Lions
(Jeff Montalvo) was little more than a relativity unknown producer. Sure, the Santa Barbara resident was gaining some underground attention for his passionate take on “Satellite” by OceanLab and progressive dubstep tracks like “Deep Divide,” but this didn’t alter the fact he was still under the EDM radar. Then one victorious remix of “You Got To Go” by Above & Beyond
changed everything for Montalvo, and put him at the forefront of not one, but multiple genres.
Since than, Seven Lions has released game changing switch ups for Tritonal
, Matrix & Futurebound, Paul van Dyk
, Velvetine, and Superbus, along with a euphoric and hauntingly gripping EP. His second major release (Days To Come) has now arrived via Skrillex
’s OWSLA imprint, featuring floor shaking, painstakingly melodic anthems that sneer in the face of boundaries.
Starting off the mood shifting, thrill ride of an EP is the title track, which kicks open with ethereal drum work and the soul piercing vocals of Fiora. Heavenly instrumentations gently build behind these facets of the song, before unleashing a headrush inducing drop full of rocketing synths and riveting dub smacks.
“Fractals” tells a heart-warming story through vivacious snare claps and faint, almost unnoticeable vocal harmonies. The tale continues, yet passes on through a much darker realm filled with ominous bass bursts and tantalizing tempo changes. The final chapter quickly picks up the pace, and shines a light on Montavlo’s uncanny ability to make contrasting synth lines sound like a guitar solo-modern day rockstar.
“The Truth” bursts open with consistently driving snare hits and mesmerizing background tones, which instantly paint a blissful and nostalgic scene. These gently reel the listener in, before unloading a trance inspired, dubbed out break section complete with harmonious melodies and effervescent soundscapes-exit reality, enter immersion.
“She Was” features production by Birds Of Paradise (Bird of Prey & GIBSON), and is a genuinely powerful tune complete with deep bass lines and an inspiring aura. Montavlo’s big room approach gracefully coalesces with the glitched out sound brought on by BOP, resulting in trenchant yet peaceful sections throughout.
If EDM had a “Freshman Class” like hip-hop did, Seven Lions would undoubtedly be on the cover. Montalvo’s infectious sound continues to exert emotion in the mind of any listener, and Days To Come is his most towering work to date.