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Various Artists - Bills & Aches & Blues (40 Years Of 4AD) 2CD/2LP

Various Artists - Bills & Aches & Blues (40 Years Of 4AD) 2CD/2LP

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In 2020, 4AD turned 40.

Never one to be on time for a party, the label is commemorating that landmark this year with the release of "Bills and Aches and Blues". The compilation features eighteen of its current artists covering a song of their choosing from 4AD’s past: a creative experiment rooted in the spirit of collaboration and a snapshot of 4AD, 41 years after its inception.

"Bills and Aches and Blues" features eighteen recordings containaining fascinating connections between artist and track. The earliest song chosen (by U.S. Girls) is The Birthday Party’s Junkyard, from 1981; the most recent are the two Grimes covers (Genesis and Oblivion, respectively by Spencer. and Dry Cleaning) from 2012. Suitably, for the one band that bridges 4AD past and present, The Breeders are all over "Bills and Aches and Blues". They’re covered three times – Cannonball by Tune-Yards, Mountain Battles by Bradford Cox of Deerhunter and Off You by Big Thief, whilst The Breeders cover The Dirt Eaters by their ‘90s contemporaries His Name Is Alive.

Landmark songs such as Cannonball, Song to the Siren and Pixies’ Where is My Mind?, will feel comfortable to casual fans, however by contrast, much joy can be found in the album’s surprise choices, such as Air Miami’s Seabird and the Lush B-side Sunbathing, covered respectively by new signings Maria Somerville and Jenny Hval.

"Bills and Aches and Blues" is named, arguably (as Elizabeth Fraser never published the lyrics) after the opening line of Cocteau Twins Cherry-Coloured Funk. Perhaps too unique and uncoverable in their own right, their legendary take on Tim Buckley’s Song to the Siren, under the name This Mortal Coil (along with Buckley’s pre-Starsailor acoustic version) informs SOHN’s cover.

Some tracks unearth hitherto hidden shared DNA, such as Future Islands’ and Colourbox’s The Moon is Blue; other tracks are more akin to reinvention. Aldous Harding distils the melodic essence of Deerhunter’s Revival and recasts it in her own uncanny image. U.S. Girls’ future-disco Junkyard and Bing and Ruth’s neo-classical instrumental Gigantic are even more radical interpretations. Leading off the album, Tkay Maidza brings both her art rap and R&B game, but also an unexpected ‘80s synth pop template to Pixies’ Where Is My Mind?, a perfect title for these chaotic times.


1. Where is My Mind? [Tkay Maidza, Pixies cover]
2. U.S. Girls Junkyard [U.S. Girls, The Birthday Party cover)
3. Revival [Aldous Harding, Deerhunter cover]
4. Dirt Eaters [The Breeders, His Name Is Alive cover]
5. Seabird [Maria Somerville, Air Miami cover]
6. Cannonball [tUnE-yArDs, The Breeders cover]
7. Genesis [Spencer, Grimes cover]
8. Helado Negro Futurism [Helado Negro, Deerhunter cover]
9. Efterklang Postal [Efterklang, Piano Magic cover]
10. Gigantic [Bing and Ruth, Pixies cover]
11. The Moon is Blue [Future Islands, Colourbox cover]
12. Sunbathing [Jenny Hval, Lush cover]
13. Oblivion [Dry Cleaning, Grimes cover]
14. Mountain Battles [Bradford Cox, Breeders cover]
15. Song to the Siren [SOHN, Tim Buckley cover]
16. The Wolves Act I and II [Becky and The Birds, Bon Iver cover]
17. Misery is a Butterfly [Ex:Re, Blonde Redhead cover]
18. Off You [Big Thief, The Breeders cover]

About this product: this is available on 2CD and 2LP formats.

The 2LP is pressed on black vinyl.