The Norfolk avant-garage outfit, You’re Jovian, creates a sonic dreamstate with the release of their full-length, They Were Selected and Divided. The eight tracks encompass dynamic fluctuations without abandoning the central sound of stormy euphoria.
Elliot Malvas has come quite a long way since writing the first tunes for first You’re Jovian in his mother’s home back in 2008. They released their first full-length Stereochronic in 2012 and with the exception of a few singles and an EP between, the group hasn’t put out a full record since. The wait seems to be worth the pay off, as these songs are the product of years of effort.
“A lot of these songs are pretty old,” said Malvas. “‘Revelations’ was written in 2008 and tracked in 2013. Even the newer ones are a year old now.”
What has really developed since the last release is Malvas’ approach toward recording. “The only thing I’ll say is different is I’ve becoming more realistic while recording in the studio and a lot more comfortable,” he said. “I used to have demoitis. So tracking was always a pain and I was never satisfied with the tones compared to what was in my head on the demos.”
Production on this record hits the mark. Somehow in the fuzz and bluster of swollen guitar riffs and bass drives, lucidity and grace persist. Songs like “Downstream” embrace the pacific vocals naturally situated in the energetic instrumentation and humidity of reverb, calm yet charismatic – vibing with a late 90s Ben Gibbard.
“Revelations,” stands out as a sweet, arpeggiated-harpsichord tone ballad with an uptempo bouncy solo evocative of The Cure. This is some flat on your back cloud watching music, with just a hint of overcast.
Much of Malvas’ songwriting comes from a place of nostalgia, but is more imagery inspired. “I have fond memories of biking down the oceanfront on my single speed,” said Malvas. “Breathing in the dense, salty, humid summer air feeling very alive. The concrete still radiating heat from the blistering late summer sun. All of the temperate climate trees are lush green. I love that shit. Highly influencing and caps off a certain period of my life.”
The beauty of the inspiration behind his writing is the relatability to a romanticized, nostalgic setting.
“If people who listen to my music can relate similar feelings through music then that’s amazing because I was influenced by certain tones back then that set the mood of my music,” said Malvas. “Everyone has a band, record, or song that sticks with them from a certain period of their life, right?”
They Were Selected and Divided, which was recorded and produced by Mark Padgett, is out now on Funny Not Funny Records. You can get it on cassette and Spotify.
Catch You’re Jovian on Easter sunday, April 16 at Gallery5 with Fat Spirit (read our interview with them here) and Basmati at 7pm. There is a suggested donation of $5-$10 and all proceeds go to ACLU.
Words by Gren Rosenberg