It’s been a good little while since I last took pleasure in listening to dubstep. Sure, I probably haven’t given it the light of day over the last couple of years, but if anyone was to give it new life and a fighting chance, in my eyes, that would be Seven Lions. Earlier today, the dubstep heavyweight dropped his new EP, Worlds Apart, on Casablanca Records, and after a quick preview of the hotly-tipped new release, I knew I was listening to something special.
Seven Lions, aka Jeff Montalvo, has spent the last year or so touring around the States in the lead-up to Worlds Apart‘s release, and in that time he has been turning heads with his euphoric, melodically-driven house-cum-dubstep. Unsurprisingly, that has garnered the scruffy, wavy-haired producer acclaim from both types of EDM listeners, and even caught the attention of indie music tastemakers, SPIN. Hoping to bridge the gap even further, Montalvo has enlisted the help of Ellie Goulding and fellow up-and-coming pop starlet, Tove Lo.
Goulding, who appears on the EP’s opener, “Don’t Leave,” is situated quite comfortably between airy synths, sweeping melodies and grand (dare I say) colossal bass drops. As one might expect, there is some definite chemistry between these two, and if one thing’s for certain, that chemistry means EPIC results!
Following the earth-shattering title-track and the trance-injected third track “Nepenthe,” Montalvo embarks on a journey through glitchy, warped and ultra-modulated beats and synth stabs with Myon & Shane 54 and Tove Lo on “Strangers”—a track that has already proven worthy of massive rotation on the airwaves. To end things off on a softer note, Kerli is brought in again for the closer, “Keep It Close.” It’s here that the Cali-based producer flexes his muscles for the final time: In addition to the beautifully composed backdrop, Montalvo makes the addition of clattering pianos and soothing atmospherics before leaving us breathless on the final note.
So if there’s anything that you can take away from this, it’s that dubstep is alive and well, and Seven Lions is making sure of that.