As someone discovered purely on the basis of their talent, producer Seven Lions has never had a problem breaking rules and transcending musical boundaries to satisfy his creative vision. Catching his break after winning a Beatport remix contest in 2012 with his dubstep-focused version of Above & Beyond’s “You Got to Go”, Seven Lions, born Jeff Montalvo, garnered early support from the likes of Skrillex and his OWSLA label. 2013 tour dates with Porter Robinson and Krewella pushed Montalvo and his genre-bending production style to the forefront of the modern electronic music scene.
Putting sheer technical production prowess to work in soulful, deep, hybridized creations — at times majestic, at others pulverizing, but certainly all distinctly his own — the multi-talented musician is single-handedly changing the sonic landscape for future generations to come by bridging the gap between the soaring, ethereal vibe of trance and intensely adrenalizing bass music. His music has seen stages at world-renowned festivals such as Ultra Music Festival, Electric Daisy Carnival (New York and Las Vegas), Electric Forrest, Electric Zoo, South by Southwest, and HARD.
After several successful releases under the OWSLA label (his 2012 debut Days to Come EP reached #2 on the iTunes Dance charts), his 2014 EP, Worlds Apart, was released on Casablanca/Republic Records, containing several notable features, including Ellie Goulding and Tove Lo. The record debuted at #1 on the iTunes Dance charts, and the title track was also featured in Billboard’s “Top 10 Electronic/Dance Songs of 2014” list. Even with the release of his fan-controversial single, “Lucy”, in 2014, Seven Lions continues to receive high praise from notable EDM publications, which glorify his itch to avoid creative stagnation. According to Billboard, Montalvo “continues to champion [dubstep’s] melodic potential” and Dancing Astronaut, while acknowledging that “Lucy” was a significant departure from his previous sound, praised the track as “a potent crossover track that is destined to go over well in trance and big room sets alike”.
Seemingly not content to simply alter the soundscapes that people will associate with EDM, Seven Lions has also begun to rearrange the way tracks are released and grouped, forgoing the typical “track by track” scheme for a more thematic EP format. 2015’s “The Throes of Winter” hints at a larger seasonal theme, to be continued through to his future releases. When asked about the spark for this vision, he explains, digitally artistic with real cohesion as opposed to tossing out singles and just haphazardly “Since artists aren’t releasing proper albums anymore, it makes sense to create something that’s seeing what sticks… I wanted to start making the music more thematic, interesting, and part of something larger.”