Seven Lions - Strangers | Theory & Arrangement Breakdown

  |  Caiti VerBrugge  |  

Back for another Breakdown, Pyramind’s Matt Donner uses Ableton Live to walk through the music theory behind Seven Lions & Myon & Shane 54 - Strangers feat. Tove Lo. He builds the chord progression and uses FloatKeys, a Max for Live plugin, to display the notes he plays.

“Complexity equals Simplicity” - a recurring concept in Matt’s breakdown videos. He uses the concept to teach students that complex music theory can help simple song arrangements reach their full potential.

In “Strangers”, the main chord progression is a basic Dorian progression in F minor. The melody, however, is in E♭ major - the relative major to F minor Dorian. This is where the “complexity” comes in. Now, the progression and melody can be repeated without getting boring.

Matt dissects the main chord progression, as well as the vocal melody. We have included helpful visuals of the progression and scale notes so that you can build these chords and melodies yourself. This is a must watch for Seven Lions fans, and any music producer struggling with theory and arrangement techniques.


More from the Blog