Published Jul 02, 2014As frontman for long-running indie rock outfit By Divine Right, José Contreras has seemingly done it all. That is, except release his own solo LP.
That's why in 2013 — during the recording of By Divine Right's last studio album, Organized Accidents — producer and past collaborator Lee Maslin asked him why that was. His response: No one had ever asked him to before.
That's all about to change, as the Canadian singer-songwriter is ready to release his first-ever solo album in his 25-plus year career. Contreras' self-titled LP won't be out until July 8. While you wait, stream the Squirtgun Records release in its entirety on Exclaim.ca.
Recorded by Maslin at Contreras' Chicano Power Studio in rural Caledon, ON, the pair spent just a day and a half recording all of the album's 10 tracks, which are made up of reworked and reimagined songs from Contreras' back catalogue. With an emphasis on sparse arrangements and the natural atmospherics of the studio, the self-titled debut finds the acclaimed musician stripping down his sound to deliver plaintive piano ballads ("Past the Stars"), haunting psych-folk ("Listen to My Angels") and classic cuts from his youth (All Hail Discordia highlight "She Knows").
Hear for yourself by listening to the album in full at the bottom of the page.
Fans living near the Arctic Circle can also catch Contreras and co. when By Divine Right play the Dawson City Music Festival this July.