Elliott Malvas continues to be one of the most prolific musicians coming out of the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area. On top of being the vocalist/guitarist/songwriter in You’re Jovian he has also been a part of shoegaze/indie rock legends The Swirlies for over a decade now.

Swirlies kick off a short three show tour tonight (3/7) at Chicho’s Backstage in Norfolk VA with an opening set from You’re Jovian  (get tickets here) before their sold out shows this Friday (3/8) at Songbyrd Cafe in Washington D.C. and Saturday (3/9) in Philly at Slide Away Fest.

I sat down with Elliott to talk about how he discovered The Swirlies and eventually became part of the band as well as the making of the new You’re Jovian single which you can check out below. 


CMM-When did you first discover The Swirlies and what really drew you to the band’s music?

Elliott-I discovered them around 2007. One of my best friends Roderick showed them to me. I was more or less playing in his band at the time and when I would come over he’d burn a much of mix CDR’s. I have a stack floating around somewhere. I unfortunately lost the original Swirlies one he burnt for me. Mostly a mixture of “Blonder Tongue” and “Salons”. I was drawn by the song structures, the production value and just the overall ambience the music created. At that time in my life I needed a change anyways and Swirlies became the soundtrack to that for me in many ways.



CMM-What eventually led you to interacting with the group and eventually becoming a member?

Elliott-I saw them in 2011 with Roderick from Reptile Tile and our friend Logan (who has an awesome project called Karacell ) in DC. That was a super magical experience though looking back I was more blown away at just seeing the band in person vs the actual set and how it sounded. The full concert is on YouTube somewhere. I remember it being good but wasn’t super tight like the records. I was a bit underwhelmed in that regard haha. I think I had emailed the band after discovering they had a website to tell them how much I appreciate them and their influence on me. I shared some mixes I had from my upcoming album “Stereochronic”. Andy was the one managing the emails, so after some back and fourth we ended up meeting in person because he had family in the area. Shortly after that Andy asked me to fill in for him in 2013 on bass duties opening for Kurt Vile. Wild tour.

CMM-You all will be playing Norfolk, D.C. and Philly this week. How did this batch of Swirlies shows come together and will there be more shows sooner than later? How about new music?

Elliott-This past July, Nicky from the band Nothing asked us in person to be apart of his Slide Away Festival in Philly. I thought it surely wouldn’t happen as Swirlies has a every couple odd year burst of activity, but sure enough it’s happening and the time is here. Norfolk is more or less a ‘warm up show’ for us. DC has been over 8 years, so it was time. Plus for Andy and I it’s our home turf so the easier logistics help the band. A lot has happened since last July though and hopefully it’s a positive direction for us and we can play live more frequently. It takes a lot of energy to get these things to happen. it’s not easy. I’m a big advocate though because I love Swirlies but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s exhausting as Swirlies operates unlike any other band I’ve ever been apart of. Looking forward to the future.

CMM-Your band You’re Jovian are also opening the Norfolk show and have a new single that just dropped. What was your process like with writing and recording these new songs? Any specific direction you felt you were moving in that was different from previous recording sessions?

Elliott-The process for the new 7” record was pretty straightforward. I originally wanted to do a full length but plans for that changed. The next logical and most cost effective step both for time and finances was to do 2 songs.. but which two?! I wanted something with contrast. I had also recently completed writing a new song over the summer called ‘Stay’ and was excited about it so I choose that for the first song and a newer but now sorta old song ‘No Light’ that I wrote probably in 2018 or 19.  “Stay” is rather straightforward/gazy and has this Nothing like quality to it that people seem to like, while “No Light” has all the brains and dynamics as it moves around a lot. I recorded them in two separate sessions at Whiskey Bear in Virginia Beach. Chris Kendrick was an absolute pleasure to work with.


CMM-It’s been over five years since Swirlies last performance here in Norfolk. What are you most looking forward to about getting to play some of that classic material here in your hometown again?

Elliott-Last time Swirlies played here it was a fucking disaster. So frankly I’m surprised it’s happening again but it feels better this time. In 2018 that was apart of the Nothing tour but Swirlies had a few solo shows. We also played Richmond that trip so It kinda just made sense. Also Deb and Damon both got sick and the band was not in a good place either, so it did not go as expected. Tonight outta be a better experience.