Written by Colton Eddy
By Divine Right are the igniting force of the Canadian indie rock explosion in the late-90s.
Jose Contreras is the leader of that free-flowing parade or a “philosophical moving art installation,” as Feist once remembered. It has featured a rotating all-star roster, drafting the likes of Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning, members of Meligrove Band, Dusted, Holy Fuck, Superfriendz, Wintersleep and has earned fandom in the name of The Gordfather Downie himself.
All of these names aside, the weight of By Divine Right’s legacy is their warmth in deconstruction and celebration of music.
To celebrate the 25-years of By Divine Right, there will be a tribute compilation called I Want Light, made by friends and family, including Born Ruffians, Elwins and Sam Roberts. For now, Indie88 has the exclusive offering of the Arkells’ cover.
Arkells’ frontman Max Kerman speaks on the subject:
“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. José’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 José is a musical treasure to behold.”
Listen to Arkells covering By Divine Right’s “Stella Ocean Heart” below.
“I Want Light” will be available as a free download on Friday, February 12.