Monstercat has had an incredible 2016, bringing on more new artists and more major artists than almost ever before. That trend continues today as Seven Lions makes his Monstercat debut on a collaboration with Echos titled “Cold Skin.”
The track was originally premiered on Billboard, who spoke to Lexi of Echos. Speaking about how the collaboration came about, Lexi said, “I remember I was at dinner when Tal called me and told me that Seven Lions wanted to make a track with us. I try to not let myself get excited over much, but imagine getting a phone call saying that one of your favorite artists wants to collaborate with you. That was probably the best feeling in the world.”
The track is a stunning example of melodic bass music with accompanying heavenly vocals – pick your favorite sports metaphor, “hole in one,” “slam dunk,” they all fit. Cascading synth notes play against the light, crisp percussion to give a completely fantastical impression that lasts beyond the song’s final notes.
Listen to “Cold Skin” below:
Seven Lions also recently visited Los Angeles to play the Hollywood Palladium with Pegboard Nerds, Unlike Pluto and Grum. Before the show, I managed to sit down with him and talk about future collaborations, the state of melodic dubstep and more.
The first few minutes were spent talking about the tour and camping. Jeff mentinoed that he spent a lot of time at Refugio Beach as a kid and loves to camp there for the memories. He’s had a lot of fun on the tour, especially with his travel partners so far. Xilent will be joining him on the east coast, and I took the opportunity to ask him about their collaboration, “The Fall.”
How did that one come about?
Eric was one of the first people I started talking to when I got into producing or doing this as a profession just because he’d been doing it for a little while. We’d always just been friends online and just decided to finally do a collab. It was like more than a year in the making of working on it, playing it out, seeing how it went, and then working on it more. We went through a ton of different versions of that song.
Has it been the same way with the Illenium and Said The Sky collab, or–?
No, that one was very different. I had worked on this track with Haleine around the same time I did The End with her. I worked on the track with her a long time ago, maybe two years ago, when I was doing The End, and then I didn’t really like the direction. So I decided to send it to them too to see if they could come up with some fresh ideas, and then they did. The guy sent it back to me, and then I worked on it more and sent it back to them. Then we just kind of went from there. It was just a long time in the making is all.
We also got into the subject of melodic dubstep, and how I felt that it has been experiencing a bit of a lull, but Seven Lions had a very different interpretation.
I think it’s really strong online. Monstercat and Suicide Sheep are crushing it all the time. But the people who make that kind of music don’t necessarily get booked at festivals because it’s not crushing festival music. It’s not true trap or dubstep. It’s very good to listen to on good speakers at home, not in a giant stadium like this.
On the note of festivals, I brought up how I had seen him earlier in the year, and he seamlessly made transitions between psytrance, dubstep, drum & bass, trap, etc. As a modest man, his response was simply, “Yeah, I always do that.” As I pushed a little more though, he let on how he developed such an eclectic style.
Because I never came into electronic music as a fan of only one genre. I’ve always kind of liked all different genres. Even with metal, I never picked a certain genre and stuck with it. Well, I’d see people who’d be like, “I only like black metal,” or, “I only like viking metal,” or, “I only like this kind of shit,” and it’d feel like it’s basically going through life and being like, “I only like corn dogs, and I don’t like anything other than that. I eat corn dogs every day, and there’s no variety.” It’s the same with music. People who only like one kind of genre it’s just sad. It’s like open your mind a bit. So I like to experiment and play different stuff.
What other kind of artists inspire you? I know you said you didn’t really come as a fan of one genre. So who are you listening to right now that really gets your blood pumping?
The new Opeth is really good. Been listening to a lot of Steven Wilson. Ghost B.C. really good. Of course, always Above and Beyond. That’s pretty much it, though.
Yeah? You’re kind of really in your own head in terms of the EDM world. You’re not really listening– I know you mentioned Suicide Sheep and Monster Cat, but–
I don’t listen to that too much, to be honest, but I know that’s the melodic dubstep stuff.
After the Creation EP and after the Journey tour, where do you see your direction going as far as production or maybe art directing? Because I saw the stage out there, and it looks amazing.
The art will remain pretty consistent just because we always have a very high fantasy kind of look just because I’m into stuff like that. The music, I think, will be a little more vocal-centric on the next EP. Lots of vocals.
Would you ever consider singing on anything yourself, or– ?
I have a horrible voice, and that’s why I produce music.
You could always modulate it or–
I would have to say, no. No, I’m not down. I don’t write lyrics. I don’t like to sing.
So what vocalist are you working with next?
The next one that’s coming out will be “Higher Love” with Jason Rox and Paul Meany from Mutemath.
Oh, that’s awesome. Very cool. How did you meet up with him?
I think that was through Jason’s management. I’m not sure actually. We’ll finish songs, and I’ll send them out. Then, I don’t remember who emails me what [laughter], but–
You get something back in your inbox, and it’s like, “Oh, this is done.”
S2 10:08.950 Then, we just follow through with it. Yeah.
So you have new music on the way, and they’re shipping with the EP or just more singles?
Three collabs coming out the rest of the year, and then a new EP next year, probably.
Three collabs before the end of the year?
Well, actually, no. I guess two because we had just already release “Rush Over Me.” So two new ones. I guess I still consider that new, but yeah.
That’s a lot of new music. Are you playing some of that out tonight as well?
I’ll play two of them. One of them’s more mellow. So it wouldn’t make sense. But “Rush Over Me” and “Higher Love” I’ll play tonight.
Any last words?
Nope. Just thanks for the support.
Image via Rukes