Matt Sever was born in San Francisco, California, and spent his formative years in northern California and southern Oregon. Sever began playing coffee houses when he was 15 years old and broke into the Austin, Texas music scene in 1996 when he began hosting an open mic night at the now defunct Flipnotics Coffeespace.
When Sever would arrive at gigs still sweaty from a long days work in Austin’s summer heat, he would often explain, "Hi, my name is Matt, and I'm an electrician." Regulars to his shows began referring to him as "The Electrician," and the moniker stuck. Early press referred to Sever being "a regular blue-collar type of guy." Indeed, his third album, Made for Working, displayed his work boots on the cover and Sever frequently played up his day job early in his career.
By his fourth album, 2004's Long Way Home, Sever had given up his day job and began traveling and developing audiences outside of Texas and the west coast. Shifting away from touring with a full band he began playing house concerts and tapped into folk/songwriter circuits in such far off places as Alaska, Japan, and Denmark.
Sever's music has been described as folk-pop or neo-folk, but more generally incorporates various styles of Americana/roots-based acoustic music. From his very first album, Baseball Song in 1998, fans and critics have been drawn to “the innocence of Sever’s music,” and his ability to "capture everyday feelings and situations with a naive, straightforward gracefulness."
Described as "a young Paul Simon wrapped around a Tom Waits heart," his songs are often highly autobiographical, both telling the story within the song as well elaborating during live sets. Sever is known for delivering quirky and unique covers and the ability to “hold everyone rapt like a bunch of babies in front of dangling car keys.” as he fills his songs, live shows and studio albums with an “endearing parade of characters.”
Sever performs as a solo act or as a duo, often with back-up singer Seela Misra or multi-instrumentalist Scrappy Jud Newcomb. When performing on stage or in the studio, in addition to Misra and Newcomb, Jon Green (drums) and Tom Pearson (bass) complete the band.
Sever is quick to share the stage with other songwriters and regularly participates in songwriter circles and has become a favorite of other songwriters. He has opened for or shared billing with Ana Egge, Southpaw Jones, Tom Freund, The Weepies, Bob Schneider and the Asylum Street Spankers.
Sever’s music has been featured in advertising, film, and multiple American television and radio programs. "I Remember" from the album Baseball Song appeared in the movie Playing Mona Lisa. The single "Valedictorian" from the album Long Way Home was featured in episodes of Eli Stone and Army Wives. "Got Your Back" from the album Animal Boy appeared first in an LL Bean commercial from Winter 2010 and more recently was used in This American Life.Baseball Song (1998)
Made for Working (2003)
Songs My Mom Doesn't Like (2004) 5 song EP
Long Way Home (2004)
Playing Live at Café Mundi (2007) Live, with Southpaw Jones
One Thing Right (2007)
Animal Boy (2009)
Matt the Electrician Is Alive (2010) Live
Accidental Thief (2011)
It's a Beacon It's a Bell (2013)