Since Seven Lions first launched his Polarize EP on Viper Recordings in 2012, followers knew there was one thing particular in regards to the Santa Barbara-born melodic dubstep producer. After all, on the time, melodic dubstep wasn’t even a factor, coming to mild throughout the heyday of brostep and the murmurings of lure within the US.
By the point he launched Worlds Aside in 2014, nonetheless, Seven Lions had amassed a faithful following and ‘melodic dubstep’ was up and working, because of others like Illenium, MitiS, Skrux, Rameses B, Dabin, and others.
Now, a decade after his first main EP, melodic dubstep has practically run its course, and Seven Lions is in some settlement, however extra on that later. After 8-9 sturdy years, it wouldn’t be shocking for a style as thematically limiting as melodic dubstep to succeed in some degree of saturation, the identical as brostep or future bass. Although lure, spawned across the similar time, appears to be having a resurgence this 12 months.
Nonetheless, Past The Veil, the debut album from Seven Lions, out in the present day, doesn’t play on outdated tropes, nor does it attempt to reinvent the wheel. It’s simply Seven Lions, as he’s all the time been. Solely three out of the twelve songs on the album had been launched as singles, leaving a lot for followers and listeners to find. And with collaborations that includes Vancouver Sleep Clinic, So Under, Eli Teplin, GG Magree, JT Roach, Dia Frampton, Mija, and Lights, there’s a lot to take pleasure in.
I believe essentially the most primary query I can ask is why now, after just about a full decade for the reason that inception of your venture. What about this 12 months or this era in your life made you go, “Okay. It’s time for an album.”
I believe the pandemic sort of allowed it simply because that was the primary time I had nearly two years off from touring, So it simply sort of made sense to, um, I don’t know. I imply, I simply had lots of music on the time, however then I sort of realized simply what the state of melodic music and lots of dubstep that I felt like I wanted to place out a press release. Sort of in a manner that was, you recognize, no collaborations with different producers and artists. I used to be fortunate to have the time and it additionally simply actually felt like the suitable time.
Okay, so even when you might have you recognize, as an example, GG Magree or Mija. They’re simply doing vocals for the tracks and never doing any manufacturing?
Yeah, they’re simply locals.
Attention-grabbing. Okay, That’s actually that’s actually fascinating.
One of many tracks on the album is “Beyond The Veil,” which shares the title of the album. What precisely is the veil to you? What’s past it?
I imply, that’s an enormous query. I really feel like that’s sort of the core thriller of the entire thing, proper? I imply, past the veil is one thing unknowable and uncrossable. And I believe that’s among the romantic beliefs behind the message. These are like past the veil and when the veil could be crossed, and loving someone that you may’t be with and that it’s an entire – I imply the idea is definitely, it was made to be a thriller, a bit ambiguous.
It might imply various things to totally different individuals. However throughout the context of the Seven Lions mythos, it does sort of have a extra significant, particular context. It’s like, actually decide up on that and resolve what it means to them, I’d say.
Did you make a few of these tracks with a vocalist in thoughts, or had been any of them vocalist demos that had been dropped at you first? When did you start to think about possibly which vocalist would go together with which track?
There’s some that went each methods. Nearly all of them had been demos that I began after which went for particular vocalists. However there have been a number of that got here in that had been like this vocal is superb. And it suits with the album and that is like one thing that I’m gonna take and construct the track round, however most of them began from simply instrumentals. Generally I’d simply be listening to lots of totally different artists on Spotify and be like, “Oh, wow, this person is amazing.”
With So Under, I simply sort of randomly bumped into her on Spotify and was like, “Wow, She’s got an amazing voice, and this would be perfect for her. Some of them went like that. Some of them that were already up and coming I knew, like Vancouver Sleep Clinic I was already familiar with for a while. So when I started the song, I wasn’t immediately like, “Oh, this is perfect for Vancouver Sleep Clinic.” However then after I obtained decently far in I noticed that may be one to ship over and we did, and he was into it. With JT Roach, I despatched him a demo, and he wrote to it, and his voice was implausible. He’s an ideal author and has an ideal voice. Nevertheless it simply wasn’t proper for that track in the important thing that it was in, so you recognize, we went and truly attempt to discover lots of totally different singers to sing that exact track. It was truly the final one which obtained completed on the album as a result of we had such a tough time discovering somebody.
Have been there any songs particularly that had been created out of any particular occasion or feeling the place you thought, you recognize, “I need to make this song for this reason”?
The entire album actually [laughs]. You sort of really feel like that in a manner as I used to be saying, simply so far as an artist. Making music proper now and the present state of issues I’ve felt like I actually needed to point out who I’m. And what I sound like, you recognize, like what my music means to me. I’d say the inspiration for among the songs got here by me simply strolling round. In the course of the pandemic I used to be spending lots of time alone, like a ton of time alone.
Yeah, I’ll say the album, there’s so much much less of the bombastic parts that you just might need had up to now, and lots of the tracks are extra somber and nearly melancholic.
Yeah, I’d say so for positive. It undoubtedly comes from a spot of solitude.
Was there any a part of the album course of particularly that you just actually loved? Perhaps it was you recognize the place you the place you recorded it or who with or possibly it was one thing that simply occurred throughout the course of, like only a enjoyable studio session or one thing.
I’ve all the time been extra serious about being within the studio and wherever else. As an digital music producer in 2022, there’s like a lot touring, and there’s a lot being away from house and, like, simply the flexibility to remain at house and roll away from bed day by day and work on the identical venture was superb. I really feel like I actually obtained to discover totally different sounds and various things that I’ve been serious about.
Doing lots of vinyl re-sampling was actually enjoyable. I’d go to the document retailer and flip by information and try to discover cool indie stuff, older stuff that I’d pull little samples out of, and I went to the thrift retailer and purchased some outdated shitty audio system and reduce them up and get lots of revamping stuff simply to get a cool natural texture out of among the issues that I don’t actually really feel like I’d have been capable of do.
That strategy is extra like engaged on an EP as a result of I’m making songs that individuals wish to hear. Like I’m gonna make a banger, and I do take pleasure in doing that as properly. However it is a way more private and experimental sort of vibe I’d say.
Are there any examples of the vinyl thrifting that we may hear and acknowledge within the album, or is it so chopped up and form of melded into just like the core of the piece that we wouldn’t actually be capable of decide it out?
I do know it’s throughout. “Call On Me,” for positive. I’d say that one has it in every single place. “Between” has it so much. Then additionally “Never Learn” there’s a ton of it. The revamping you undoubtedly hear in “Beyond The Veil.” Within the very starting, it provides it this bizarre distortion that you just simply couldn’t get from a plug in the place you hear the thrill and it’s an fascinating sort of sound for positive.
In order I discussed, it’s been just about a full decade for the reason that inception of your Seven Lions venture. What are among the classes you’ve realized alongside the best way and something you would possibly wish to point out to new producers, new recording artists who’re both simply beginning out or wish to advance their skill as producers?
There’s so many issues to say. I’d say, clearly, the very first thing is do it since you find it irresistible. You realize, it’s an extended street and I really feel just like the reward on the finish of the day is definitely making the music. For those who take your time in how a lot you benefit from the course of versus what you’re in search of the end result to be, then I believe you’re in a great place. I’d additionally say being very conscious of what you let into your thoughts relating to social media and what you’re as a result of it’s very easy to get misplaced, evaluating your self to different individuals and get down and get knocked off your path. The way you evaluate your self to different individuals is essential.
Picture by way of Dawndra Budd