by Karissa Perry
Photo Courtesy of Seven Lions' Facebook Page
On Wednesday night, November 16, the House of Blues opens its doors to Seven Lions, a California-based musician who uses a variety of electronic influences and styles to create his own hybrid of dance music. This concert is the Boston stop on his Journey Tour, which also features dance artists Pegboard Nerds, Xilent and Grum. Seven Lions, also known as Jeff Montalvo, has been on the music scene since 2010, but Montalvo himself started experimenting with electronic music in his teen years. He quit his life as a metal rock band member to focus on making his own music electronically.
His remixes of pre-existing songs were where he got his big start, particularly his remix of “You Got To Go” by Above & Beyond featuring Zoe Johnston, which had him in second place just under Skrillex in Beatport’s Dubstep chart. With five EPs and multiple singles to date, Seven Lions is unique in the sense that he does not fit neatly into any subgenre of dance, electronic or EDM-style music. His songs take on a more celestial and intricate approach to dance. While he still utilizes loud, synth-y breakdowns and abrupt pacing changes, he definitely caters more to the trance side of electronic dance, with some dubstep and bass thrown into the mix. The end result is something alternative and original, which is quite rare for the dance genre.
Seven Lions’ tracks also incorporate vocals; he has collaborated with some significant names in the music industry such as Ellie Goulding and Tove Lo. “Don’t Leave” is one of his best-selling singles and features Ellie Goulding on the vocals. With heavy synths and a constant bass line, the song has that exciting buildup that most dance tracks have. However, the changes in tempo and the variety of digital sounds makes the single eclectic and forces the listener into staying for the whole six minutes. Other standouts include “Rush Over Me,” featuring HALIENE which couples falsetto vocals with slow, majestic buildups and the more techno-inspired “Strangers.”
As featured in these singles and his overall discography, Seven Lions avoids the repetitive nature that many artists in the dance/electronic scene have and every one of his tracks proves to be new and creatively constructed. Even with some big names on vocals, his electronic composition stands it ground and rather than pushing him to the back seat, the singer’s vocals only elevate his riffs and instrumentation.
Tickets to Seven Lions at the House of Blues available here.