Toronto artist Just Graham is a songwriter at heart. Since picking up a box violin at the age of five he has always played by ear and listened for the melody.

Graham’s latest release is the slow groove, trance-inspired synthpop of “Blood Gutter,” which was inspired by the trauma of Graham and his partner witnessing a skateboard struck by a car who they initially thought had died.

Graham used a Roland Jupiter JP-08 synthesizer to create the line that the song is built around, its experimental sound coupled with violin, acoustic guitar, and a prominent rhythm section.

We learned the next day that the skateboarder had survived, and had my backpack which had been accidentally thrown into the ambulance at the scene of the accident.

I wrote the song the next day in reflection of the events when they were still fresh and raw. Experiencing something traumatic together formed a new type of bond in our complex and ever-evolving relationship.Just Graham

Head to bed but we can’t sleep

The episode is on repeat

Red lights and yellow tape

We close our eyes but we can’t escape


Drawn to the intimacy and immediacy of the stage, Just Graham reached his ten thousand hours by performing with countless groups through the ’10s. A singer and multi-instrumentalist, the highlight of this chapter was co-leading indie folk outfit Common Deer from 2014 to 2021, who toured extensively in Canada and the US to support three studio releases.

In the stillness of the pandemic, songwriting flooded back in. A new honesty emerged both in texture and words. Graham now knows a greater responsibility and seeks his best both in sentiment and delivery. Owning his stage name from a solo project back in 2007, Just Graham wants to remind you that love isn’t dead, and beauty lies in imperfection.

Auteur Research