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Last Heroes cultivate new sound & intention on sophomore Ophelia EP, ‘Finding Light’ [EP REVIEW]

Featured photo: Connor Moos.

Ophelia favorites Last Heroes have just made quite the statement with their second full deliverance on Seven Lions‘ esteemed melodic imprint. The Colorado-based duo, made up of Garrett Lucero and Brian Helander, now unveils their lengthy EP, Finding Light. They’re not calling it a long-form album just yet, although plenty of artists put out 8-track full-lengths all the time. Between the new EP, countless one-off singles and remixes, and their strong debut EP, the rising melodic bass duo have doled out enough material over the past 12 months that they could have a debut studio album at this point. However, just as timing is everything in the music business, we suspect that slow-and-steady wins the race with this production duo.

The Finding Light EP spans eight tracks in length. Lucero and Helander already released the project’s two lead singles, “Love Like Us,” featuring Ophelia staple RUNN, and “Passing Through” with Trove. Now they build on those sonic narratives with six more records that enlist some standout collaborators— from Kiwi acoustic band Woodlock, to indie-folk singer-songwriter Clay Finnesand, to pop artist Heather Sommer, among many other talented vocalists. Throughout the listening journey, Last Heroes not only builds upon the four emotionally evocative, ethereal tracks on their first Ophelia EP. They also showcase how far they’ve come in a year and forecast where they are headed.

Mixing elements of indie, folk, pop, and their signature melodic bass stamp, the entire EP represents the next evolutionary step in the duo’s career. That is to say, Last Heroes are making a clear and intentional foray into the melodic feel-good movement being paved by SLANDER, Seven Lions, and sad boi’s Porter Robinson, Illenium, Said The Sky, William Black, among others. So, in a sense, the EP itself is a proverbial “step up to the plate.” It’s a vision of where Lucero and Helander see themselves down the line. A statement of what team the pair sees themselves on. And, importantly, a manifestation of which players they will be playing alongside.

Upon their formation in 2016, Last Heroes’ mission from the outset was to build a platform that would not just bring people together in the powerful moment of music. They also wanted to remind each individual that their life has meaning and purpose once they walk away from that collective moment of transcendence. It’s a mission that resonates around Last Heroes’ larger sonic message: everyone has an impact that ripples—big or small, visible or unseen, fleeting or lasting. It’s an impact that may help another human overcome a dark time. You could be providing a light in the darkness for someone when they’re at their lowest, and never even know it. You never know when you could be someone else’s “last hero” in life.

From the thoughtfulness behind Last Heroes’ mission to their cinematic soundscapes that borders on the style of Hans Zimmer, Last Heroes understand the true power of intention and they put in into their craft. It’s a quality that CE has been noticing for some time, which is why we can hardly wait to see what sorts of feelings that Last Heroes will muster up in their inevitable debut studio album. But these are two guys who seem to know that an artist’s first studio album must make a statement. Art doesn’t deserve to be rushed. Art demands time and precision, messiness and happy accidents, intensity and flow, vulnerability, and a full surrender to the process. For now, fans will just have to fill their time with Finding Light.

Last Heroes – Daybreak EP

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