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Ottawa’s Soulful “Graven” in CBC Searchlight: The Hunt for Canada’s Best New Artist

By Adria May on April 10, 2015

Ottawa musician Matt McKechnie also known as ‘Graven’ is a singer –song writer with moving, poetic, thoughtful lyrics. He is also a contender in CBC’s Searchlight 2015: The Hunt to Find Canada’s Best New Artist.

His entry song is called “Movies of the Mind”, which is part of his album “Channelsurfing the Seas of the Cinematic Mind”. You can listen to his song and vote every day until April 13: here.

For Matt, music has a way of illuminating things. “Sometimes when you’re looking back in your life, it can seem like a film, because humans have a way of looking at things idealistically and it’s all very glow-y. We tend to look at the good and the positive…it moves you forward.”

“Hey, don’t worry about the life you haven’t lived yet. I will not bow to regret. I do not believe in it. We make our plans so overdrawn, we are here and then we are gone. Like every forgotten song, like a movie that you never saw.”

Lyrics from his song. Truth.

The 20-song album is about the idea that sometimes life is like a foreign film. It features themes of death, redemption, pain and solitude. “When the credits finally roll, when it’s all over, we might not know what it all means or what the whole picture is about,” Matt explained. “There are beautiful moments and moments of struggle.”

The album features drum-work from Dave Marsh (Joel Plaskett Emergency) and engineering from Charles Austin (The Super Friendz). After making rap tapes in his teens as ‘MC Man of Steel’, playing in garage bands and collaborating with other artists, he decided to start his own project in 1999. Graven, which combines the words Gravity and Heaven, was born. He’s since made 9 albums and toured/played with with artists like Brad Sucks, JD Edwards, Dave Gunning, The Gentlemen Husbands, and Tanya Davis. In addition to playing with some east coast artists, he counts groups like The Super Friendz, Thrush Hermit (Joel Plaskett), and Sloan as influences. Others include The Weakerthans, Dinosaur Jr. and Pavement. These days Graven has been playing live with guitarist Ben Mullin.

To listen to Channelsurfing the Seas of the Cinematic Mind and to purchase it visit: Matt/Graven will be playing in Perth, opening for Ali McCormick, on April 25 at O’Reilly’s Ale House. To see a list of his upcoming performances, including a tour west, visit: