Jeff Montalvo has pretty much solidified his Seven Lions moniker as the reigning melodic dubstep king, with his World Apart and Throes of Winter EPs putting us all deep into our feels. But lately it\’s quite clear that he has possessed the desire to move in new directions with his psy trance single, \”Cusp,\” which debuted on Armin\’s Whose Afraid of 138?! and got mixed reactions from his fanbase.
His newest Creation EP, out last week on Casablanca Records, is a testament to an artist moving in a completely different and eclectic (and, frankly, refreshing) direction. In this newest extended play list–where you can hear his commentary behind each song–it\’s pretty clear that Seven Lions no longer wants to be pinned into the melodic dubstep genre. Jeff has this to say on the Creation EP,
As well as having some high energy songs, for this EP I really wanted to experiment with some non dance floor related tracks and really get back to my metal and acoustic roots.
That is not to say Jeff has abandoned melodic dubstep altogether, but that he is flexing his muscles and showing us that he is just as diverse in creating new auditory landscapes as he is skilled in taking us on his melodic journeys. He\’s been working on these tracks for years, and we\’ve even seen a couple dropped in his recent live sets. What\’s most interesting is that the entire EP isn\’t very reminiscent of electronic dance music so much as it is a manifesto to the journey he will be taking listeners on once he begins to fully incorporate the newer material into his live sets. The greatest thing about Seven Lions, from the studio to the stage, has always been that he\’s constantly evolving and improving.
From the \”Intro,\” which establishes the unique kind of cinematic quality that we know Montalvo has come to possess, there\’s an intensity that is reminiscent of an epic period movie; which transitions as seamlessly as sutured film into the darker, dub/metal inspired track, \”Summer of the Occult.\” The third track, \”Creation” ft. Vök, is a more melodic and immersive bass ballad with glitchier drops that are still reminiscent of the classic Seven Lions synths we know and love. It is easy to see how Jeff may have used this particular track for the name of the EP to ease his listeners into a new musical direction. Check out the whole EP to develop your own opinion beyond these highlights, but one conclusion that can safely be drawn from Creation is that this is an artist who has full creative freedom to put out the content he dreams up — without all the red tape of a commercial record label.