01.   Jim Guthrie   “I Love Everybody”
02.   Arkells   “Stella Heart Ocean”
03.   Sam Roberts   “Medicine”
04.   The Meligrove Band   “Nothing A-Go-Go”
05.   Shotgun Jimmie & Leanne Zacharias   “Little You”
06.   Golden Dogs   “Kick this Bummer”
07.   The Elwins   “Come for a Ride”
08.   Lavender Orange   “Bigfoot”
09.   The Shake Me Bake Me’s   “Bellyflop”
10.   Good Bad Kid (feat. Lily Frost)   “5 Bucks/LDSC”
11.   Jessie Stein w/ David Moore & Fjóla Evans
        “I Want Light”
12.   Tim Vesely   “Shine so Shin”
13.   Jeremy Fisher & Furnaceface   “Soft Machine”
14.   San Sebastian   “I Love a Girl”
15.   Born Ruffians   “The Slap”
16.   Dearly Beloved & Eamon McGrath   “Rock High”
17.   Ryan Granville Martin   “I Will Hook You Up”
18.   Stew Heyduk   “San Francisco”
19.   Thom Gill   “Wheels Slow”
20.   Hopeful Monster   “Complicated”
21.   The Très Bien Ensemble   “Hugger of Trees”
22.   The Dill   “Listen to my Angels”





// FREE Digital Download (via BDR bandcamp)


“It will be more us, and at the same time, wider.”

That’s how By Divine Right’s Jose Contreras described the band’s next move in March 1995 for a cover story in Exclaim! Magazine. It’s a philosophy that has dominated the indie rock outfit’s approach since Contreras first put that name on a self-recorded cassette in 1989, and through seven albums, almost as many labels, and dozens of band-mates, By Divine Right have proven to be more Jose, and at the same time, wider.

By Divine Right haven’t always moved easily through the music landscape. When they hit their stride in the mid-1990s, they were swept up in the first Canadian indie rock boom — on the heels of Toronto acts like Change of Heart signing to major labels, and scenes like Halifax’s pop explosion vaulting Sloan, Thrush Hermit and jale into the global spotlight — By Divine Right were ripe to be plucked from the independent farm system, and were, by Nettwerk, for 1997’s All Hail Discordia and 1999’s Bless This Mess.

To call By Divine Right the Velvet Underground of Canada is silly and absurd, but a truth spoken about the latter might equally apply to the former — many, many fans of By Divine Right have gone on to form bands. (Of course, many of those bands — from Broken Social Scene to Meligrove Band and Rock Plaza Central — also include one-time members of By Divine Right.)

In By Divine Right — and specifically in the form of front-man Jose Contreras — fans found a kindred spirit, one who channelled all the power of expression, love of music and desire for connection and community through the shared experience of music. Whether it’s watching Contreras rip into a guitar solo dear to my old man heart, like “Fat Favour” from 1996 EP Some, or if “Little You,” an absurdly charming slice of pop from last year’s Organized Accidents, BDR are a vaccine against cynicism.

Not every By Divine Right song was a hit, but almost all of them are tapped into the mysterious pleasure centers that strike at the heart of music lovers. Jose Contreras is endowed with the blessing/curse of the pop gene. It’s not on Jose that the hit factory was devastated by music industry layoffs before one of his hundreds of pop sparks burst into worldwide flame. But it also meant he’s never quite found solid footing in the shifting sands of indie rock culture, nor enjoyed the luscious fruits of success so many peers — myself included — have predicted would come.

In the last decade, old guard music nerds could have brought Jose down with constant talk of woulda-couldas and next big thing laments. But instead, Jose Contreras is the spiritual tide that has lifted so many young Canadian music boats. To know Jose is to know a love of life, of music, of expression and of community. He wouldn’t dare mention that Polaris Music Prize founder Steve Jordan signed the band to their first record deal with Kinetic in 1995. He’s not interested in flouting former bandmates like Leslie Feist, Brendan Canning’s Broken Social Scene or Holy Fuck’s Brian Borcherdt. More than he wants to write an infectious hook, he wants to be an infectious human — for music, community, love and enthusiasm. Do yourself a big fat favour and enjoy the legacy of one of Canada’s great, unsung treasures.   ~  James Keast



Jim Guthrie – I Love Everybody (from “Bless This Mess”) Toronto, ON

“I met BDR back in the mid to late 90s when I was living in Guelph.  My roommate at the time, James Ogilvie, played bass with them for a bit and I just remember being blown away by how genuine and laid back they were about music and the biz in general.  It was around the time they put out All Hail Discordia and since James had to learn a bunch of bass lines we had their music on 24/7.  Jose also gave James some cassettes and demos that were amazing.  They made music seem so effortless, natural and fun.  They told me they listened to my homemade cassettes in their van while touring and that kind of blew my mind.  I hadn’t really played out of Guelph at that point and they were a real band that was driving all over North America playing music.  They’ve always been super supportive of my music and that’s always meant a lot to me.  I think they’ve made many others feel that same support in our music community and that’s a rare thing.  They’re a constant inspiration on so many levels.” ~ Jim Guthrie


Arkells – Stella Heart Ocean (from “Good Morning Beautiful”) Hamilton, ON

“The first BDR song I heard was Powersuit from Good Morning Beautiful. Musically it was on par with Revolver era Beatles stuff, and the voice was soulful, rich, and completely unique. I thought to myself, how was this not the biggest song of the year? From there I discovered the rest of BDR’s material, and was blown away with how much quality lived in the songwriting and production. Jose’s work speaks for itself – it’s heartfelt, funny, rocking’, and sweet all at the same time. He’s such a pro. For anyone who’s ever listened to BDR or seen him live, knows Jose is a musical treasure to behold.” ~ Max Kerman


Sam Roberts – Medicine (from “Good Morning Beautiful”) Montreal, QC

“In 2002, we did our first full-blooded East Coast tour opening for BDR…We were sleeping in tents along the way and they were very gracious hosts, giving us their extra hotel room so we didn’t die of exposure… They were also a great band to watch live every night and they would really twist and stretch out the songs, giving them new life with every show. We got our first taste of late-night kitchen-parties together with Rock Ranger Jay Smith in Sydney, N.S. That tour remains one of my best memories of the road. I’m glad BDR is still making music!” ~ Sam Roberts


The Meligrove Band – Nothing A-Go-Go (from “Bless This Mess”) Toronto, ON

“BDR has always held a special place in our hearts. One magical night after one of our shows, we spotted Jose in the crowd. We couldn’t resist the urge to tell him how much his music meant to us. After chatting with him a bit, we somehow convinced him to produce our album and the rest is history. He’s been our friend, mentor, and guru ever since. There’s a lot to be said about BDR but what people need to take away is how much they’ve touched the heart of so many Canadian bands and how much Jose’s music still inspires us to love what we do.” ~ Darcy Regos


Shotgun Jimmie & Leanne Zacharias – Little You (from “Organized Accidents”)

“Jose is the Jimi Hendrix of the hippy jar, a potent healer and general gentleman. He tours in a snow globe and is a highly decorated road-warrior. His attitude is exemplary and he keeps top company. He will stay up late if the situation calls for it. With a powerful smile and twinkle in each eye, he is a steady friend. We can count on him. Three cheers for the Prince of Mutants!” ~ Shotgun Jimmie


Golden Dogs – Kick this Bummer (from “Good Morning Beautiful”) Toronto, ON

“Meeting Jose was like sitting in a hot tub on a summers day and finding out Michael Jackson had died. Or like alarm bells going off in the middle of the night. A SHOCK to the system. The man has a lot of soul and his music shows it. Undeniably groovy.” ~ Dave Azzolini


The Elwins – Come for a Ride (from “Bless This Mess”) Newmarket, ON

“I once saw an amazing music video from a band where it was both funny and super cool. Unfortunately I didn’t catch who the artist was, let alone any title, so for many years I would find myself thinking about this incredible video by this band and think “would I ever know who did that song?”. Thankfully about two years ago I was talking with my friend Graham (Tokyo Police Club) about this mystery video I had seen back in early highs school or something and immediately he said you mean Come For A Ride!?”. Naturally we had to do this song.” ~ Travis Stoki


Lavender Orange – Bigfoot (from “All Hail Discordia”) Toronto, ON

“I first saw BDR around 92 or 93; it looked like John Lennon was on stage.  Well, Jose is born on October 9th; He writes great songs, and gives great hugs! Thank you for the good times!  Big Huge Peace!” ~ Spike Love


The Shake Me Bake Me’s – Bellyflop (from “Some”) Toronto, ON

“Our words about Jose are expressed in the sounds of the song.” ~ The Shake Me Bake Me’s


Good Bad Kid (feat. Lily Frost) – 5 Bucks/LDSC
(from “All Hail” & “Bless this Mess”) Toronto, ON

“When I first moved to Toronto, I met cool musicians like Hayden and the guys in Poledo,  and through one of them, All Hail Discordia found its way into my hands. I couldn’t get over it. The economy of style, the belief, the emotion, the production and the humour all struck me. All the songs were like two minutes long, really catchy, with real pop smarts.  Sure enough, Jose and I would cross paths, and I  eventually  served time in By Divine Right when he asked me to jump on a run of shows supporting Good Morning Beautiful. I loved it! It was like a greatest hits every night… I really enjoyed that whole experience and I learned a lot from Jose.  He really understands vibe. He’s made SO many great sounding records, including his own. Rightly so, he’s more in demand now than ever! He has an amazing body of work, deserving of celebration, but be sure; this guy is at the height of his powers…and his best work is still being done in the moment. That’s what makes him so great.  I love you, Jose!” ~ Andrew Rodriguez


Good Bad Kid (feat. Lily Frost) – 5 Bucks/LDSC
(from “All Hail” & “Bless this Mess”) Toronto, ON

“Jose is one of the hardest working people I know. His expectations are high for himself and others. He’s a giver and has a deep understanding of how things should be to make an impact. Behind it all is love. He is driven by quality and passion and beauty and not by ego. His heart and smile are wide. He is a teacher and wants everyone to succeed. His ruthlessness is in the name of art. He is always growing and learning and sharing and is a great inspiration to us all.” ~ Lily Frost


Jessie Stein w/ David Moore & Fjóla Evans – I Want Light
(from “Bless This Mess”) Montreal, QC

“The first time I saw By Divine Right, I was an underage superfan, and I told José I loved his songs. He said they loved me back.” ~ Jessie Stein


Tim Vesely – Shine so Shine (from “Bless this Mess”) Toronto, ON

“By Divine Right music has so much great stuff going on all at once: rock guitar, pop brilliance, groove, high energy, spirituality, musicianship and beautiful vocals. All that while having a good time to boot.” ~ Tim Vesely


Jeremy Fisher & Furnaceface – Soft Machine (from “Sweet Confusion”) Ottawa, ON

“I bought a Sonic Unyon compilation called “Smell Ya Later” Not if I smell you first when I was in high school in Hamilton. There was a By Divine Right track on there and I immediately identified with Jose’s left of centre pop sensibility, it sounded new and old at the same time.” ~ Jeremy Fisher


San Sebastian – I Love a Girl  (from “Mutant Message”) Hamilton, ON

“My first introduction to By Divine Right was as a kid seeing the “Come For a Ride” video on Much Music.  I remember thinking the video was strange, but the song was great.  Fast forward a few years and I really fell in love with The Meligrove Band album “Planets Conspire” I loved the production on it and when I put together that the Producer was the same guy I saw squaring off against a giant doughnut, I immediately went out and got as many BDR records as I could get my hands on.  I loved them all.  I continue to love them and have loved every BDR record since.  Jose is one of the best songwriters in this country and we’re so proud to be a part of this.” ~ Greg Veerman


Born Ruffians – The Slap (from “Sweet Confusion”) Toronto, ON

“I worked at a CD store in a small town in high school and I would buy anything that came in that wasn’t Dwight Yoakam, Backstreet Boys or Red Hot Chili Peppers. I bought Sweet Confusion based on the name and the cover alone but fell in love with it. Long live BDR!” ~ Luke LaLonde


Dearly Beloved & Eamon McGrath – Rock High (from “All Hail Discordia”) Toronto, ON

“I knew Jose was a force of nature early on but it was on full display the night we had to do a gig without our drummer, Mark. Jose didn’t miss a beat and he turned that weakness into our biggest asset that night. That resiliency and positivity characterize my time spent in the band.” ~ Rob Higgins


Ryan Granville Martin – I Will Hook You Up (from “Mutant Message”) Toronto, ON

“Everything Jose touches turns to cool. But what sticks with me is that under Jose’s cool, is a hard-working and highly-skilled songwriter.” ~ Ryan Granville Martin


Stew Heyduk – San Francisco
(from “Good Morning Beautiful” collectors edition) Joshua Tree, CA

“We met at an airport somewhere in the United States in 2003. Our plane was delayed so we played cards, sang songs and talked about life… By the time we got home to Toronto, Jose looked at me and said “you’re in the family now” and that has held true ever since. Over the years I have learned a lot from Jose from instruments, honing in on my vocals to writing song and recording them. Because of By Divine Right my life as a musician has blossomed. I am greatly honored to be apart of this tribute album. I want to thank “the dill” for making this happen!” ~ Stew Heyduk


Thom Gill – Wheels Slow (from “Sweet Confusion”) Toronto, ON

“I had the opportunity to play in an opening set for BDR at Pop Montreal a few years back and their set moved me to a prolonged fit of baffled glee. Such powerful songwriting and joyous performing; the whole crowd was ecstatic! The 14-yr-old me, who first heard them on Much Music, was standing right there next to me. After that night, I dove full tilt into the discography, and I’m such a happier boy because of it.” ~ Thom Gill


Hopeful Monster – Complicated (from “All Hail Discordia”) Toronto, ON

“I saw Jose perform Complicated at the Cameron House in the late 90s — just him & his electric guitar, but it had the energy of a whole band. It changed my idea of what a solo performance could be. All Hail Discordia was the first local recording I’d heard that was every bit as good as any of my favourite albums.” ~ Jason Ball


The Très Bien Ensemble – Hugger of Trees (from “Good Morning Beautiful”) Toronto, ON

“One time, BDR drove Butterscotch to the TBE homeland of Woodstock, ON for a show with us. We were Wayne Omaha back then. I remember sitting with my mom at the Hotel. Jose was standing atop the bar, belting out tunes. He was and is a star: a powerful performer and heavily groovy songwriter. It’s weird but I can’t remember when I first met Jose or really even heard his music. Whenever it was, it must have been a beauty time ’cause we are friends.” ~ Matt James


The Dill – Listen to my Angels (from “Sweet Confusion”) Hamilton, ON

“When I first saw BDR, they were opening up for The Hip at Copps Coliseum & I honestly only knew “Come for a Ride”. The singer was in pj’s, singing his heart out (Jose). I recognized the bass player was the guy from hHead & Len (Brendan Canning). The girl guitar player was rocking out & had overalls on (Feist), the drummer had the anti rock star vibe going hard (Mark), and they were playing the song “Who Am I?” During the outro jam out of the track Jose & Feist kept down tuning their bottom E strings and played this psychedelic trancy looping riff, which was SO simple and brilliant! The sound filled the whole arena and it blew my F’N MIND!!! Fast forward two years and I’m on my first North American tour playing bass for BDR, experiencing some of the most exciting adventures and times of my life. I’ll cherish every memory….that I can remember. Thanks for it all Jose!” ~ Dylan Hudecki