2020 hasn’t exactly been our year so far, with post ponements, cancellations, and self quarantines affecting not just our scene, but the countless workers across multiple industries, our loved ones, and the rest of the world. A lot of artists and companies have taken the time to live stream, like Insomniac’s 24/7 EDC set cycles, producers taking to Twitch, Facebook Live, and Instagram, and our rave fam joining in the chat rooms to keep us sane. Seven Lions has been amazing at giving his fans a window into his life and we feel a little less alone. From releasing a limited edition puzzle revealing his new EP, Find Another Way, to showing off both cult classics and unreleased bangers while streaming online, we feel like we are a valued part of the Ophelia pride.
His last EP, Start Again, dropped later in the year of 2018 and since then Jeff Montalvo has been occupied with growing one of the most successful labels with only being two years old, collaborating with his closest friends on tracks like “Known You Before” with Jason Ross, “First Time” with Slander and Dabin and “Break the Silence” with MitiS to just name a few, and touring the country on his Alchemy Tour. On top of all this, he has premiered incredibly successful Ophelia showcases such as at Electric Zoo, headlining festivals like Imagine and EDC Orlando, and smashing into the psy trance scene with his trio project, Abraxis, at Dreamstate SoCal. It’s astounding how much he has done to build not only for himself but his label family.
Now, many of his fans can enjoy his highly coveted 2020 EP, Find Another Way. As is signature of Montalvo, he meticulously weaves this new collection together with impeccable sound design and the ability to streamline any genre into his soundscapes. Ranging from acoustic piano and vocals and downtempo house to ramped up trance, psy, and heavy melodic dubstep.
A powerful kickoff for the EP, “Remember”, is a first time collaboration with Au5 and Crystal Skies returns. Energetic synths climb us up to the melodic drop. Partnered with dashes of heavy dubstep midsection and foundation of psy trance rhythm, this track has intricate layers that we continue to discover with each listen. Montalvo once again taps vocalist Tyler Graves for “Only Now” and “Senseless”. We’ve heard the former on tour and predict it will be the new Seven Lions staple. The latter reaches our vulnerable side with just “one touch” with a beautiful treatment of the piano and slowing the bpm. “Another Way” is an inspirational track that we find is very relevant to the current human experience. It gives us a snapshot of hope we are holding onto as we find our footing in the now. April Bender’s ethereal vocals are matched perfectly with angelic synths that raise us above it all. Bookending this incredible EP is, “What’s Done is Done”, a love letter that has every ounce of passion squeezed into 4 minutes and 50 seconds. HALIENE’s vocals gives us goosebumps and with an underpinning love affair with a drum and bass beat section, we’re left wanting to hold each other just a little tighter.
We think we can say we have gotten to know Montalvo a bit more and we are grateful for him being so open with us through all of this. Find Another Way is available now on Soundcloud, Spotify and Apple Music. As far as we know, the Gorge takeover is still happening, you can read more about it here. Keep up to date with the Ophelia label head on streaming platforms like Twitch, where you can see him wear an array of sunglasses (Willy Wonka anyone?), talk about plants with Gem & Tauri and catch glimpses of Lucy and Khaleesi. We hope this refreshes your playlist queues and remember to stay in touch. We’re always here.