Photo by Jordan Trotter

Elliott Malvas continues to be one of the most prolific musicians coming out of the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area.  Besides being the vocalist and  guitarist of You’re Jovian and Obscure Son, Elliott is a part of the current lineup of Boston legends Swirlies and the drummer for planet earth’s #1 humanoid reptilian musical group Reptile Tile.

Obscure Son will be playing a free show this Saturday 5/20  at Back Bay Beach House in Virginia Beach alongside The Warm Hug.

Reflecting on his “Five For Friday” selections Elliott said…

“I listen to music everyday. Clearly there are too many songs/ albums/ bands/ people to reference for just 5 songs/picks that made an impact on me. I’m sorta throwing it back to the beginning of discovering some pivotal tunes that directly effected me way back but sorta still do to this day. Influences never vanish, they become a part of you.”

“My last pick is a more recent/modern discovery. Even though the musical landscape has changed a bit for me recently; meaning I’m older now and in general view music differently than I used to 10+ years ago, I still find my self discovering or rediscovering tunes. Inspiration comes at a moments notice and with that I try to capture the lightning in a bottle aspect of the high it gives. Sometimes I’ll associate certain songs/ albums as soundtracks for certain seasons or time of year. It’s complicated but here are my 5 picks. “

Weezer – Walt Disney

I love Weezer. Rivers Cuomo was probably the first song writer I fell in absolute love with and directly tried emulating. That said- we’re all familiar w/ blue album and Pinkerton; which are great! However, back- wayyy back before the ‘Alone’ recordings I had to download all these home recordings off ‘Karl’s’ corner on the old Weezer website (pre-Beverly hills). I acquired so many rare Weezer recordings that are now readily available on Spotify.. but one home record/demo that stuck out was a song titled ‘Walt Disney’. Sorta jazzy but still rivers/ Weezer, it had a crisp low fi fidelity to it that I still savor to this day. That drum sounds is perfection.


Pavement – Gold Soundz

I love Pavement. More so Stephen Malkmus. It’s no secret. Outside of Weezer, Pavement was my gateway into indie music. Weezer was so polished and pro whereas Pavement was rougher but still rocked. Slacker rock they say.. to me, anything but. Malkmus has a precision that fakes you out- effortless.. granted it’s rough live.. very relatable for me personally. ANYWAYS I remember hearing gold sounds and immediately falling in love with that track. Everything about it. Riff, build up, solo.. It still gives me goose bumps to this day.


Swirlies – Sarah Sitting

While I play in Swirlies when they tour, we don’t play this track live. Swirlies are a huge influence on me. Getting to know them and play in the band is still fucking nuts and a whole story in itself but why Swirlies are cast into this ‘shoegaze’ category is beyond baffling to me.. they’re not shoegaze.. or at least they’re more prog/ alternative than anything else. More so like Sonic Youth.. anyways- I can go on and on about any of Swirlies tracks / albums but “Sarah Sitting” is just so raw and tasty. Great guitar melody that makes absolutely no sense. Drums are boxy and have some fills that are Gary Young like from Pavement/ slanted and enchanted. It’s perfect! I love how everything sits in the mix too…the parts, tones, vocals, everything. Swirlies discography is over shadowed by songs like Jeremy Parker or Pancake but “Sarah Sitting” is just an indie anthem in my opinion and a song that clearly stands out from the rest of any of Swirlies discography and no other band has ever come close to writing a song like that. It’s on an island of its own, much like Swirlies in general, influences me to this day to be clever but relatable, even if no one cares.


Sonic Youth – incinerate

“Rather Ripped” is a great record start to finish, minus ‘Do You Believe In Rapture’ and ‘Rats’. “Incinerate” has the greatest solo on it as well. I just love  how this song progresses, it’s lay out.. parts don’t get old. it’s poppy but also raw and noisy. I’m not a diehard Sonic Youth fan. I just really love this record by them. I remember listening to all the singles off this album on MySpace one summer in Ohio as the album was being promoted. I think I later bought it at FYE on CD format the day it came out. I had been anticipating it all summer in 2005. Also Kim Gordon sings amazing on this record. Her vocals usual are the thing i dislike the most.. please.. no one take that the wrong way! She’s a incredible musician and her contributions to SY and art are rad.


Ulrika Spacek – No.1 hum

This song is perfectly crafted. I feel like I’m at their concert. The drums are so dry and cut through so well. Vocals are mixed perfectly. I discovered the ‘suggestive listening EP’ thanks to Spotify’s algorithm back in 2020. The whole EP is a huge influence now and sonically something I stride for, at least to me in my head. Something about discovering this during the pandemic, in the winter romanticized that period of my life. Give the EP a listen. Ulrika Spacek are also releasing new music. Good group.