Big Thief, Breeders, Future Islands & more cover 4AD artists for label’s 40th anniversary
Long-running and influential indie label 4AD have never been ones to care about the usual milestones, instead preferring to commemorate milestones like The 13-Year Itch in 1993. Last year was the label's 40th anniversary, but they're celebrating this year with a new compilation titled Bills & Aches & Blues, which features 18 current 4AD artists covering songs by other groups, past and present, from the label. It's out digitally on April 2 with vinyl and CD versions out July 23. You can preorder now.
The compilation title is taken from Cocteau Twins' "Cherry Coloured Funk" but no artist dared take on one of their songs for this. The closest anyone comes is SOHN's cover of Tim Buckley's "Song to the Siren," which was famously covered by This Mortal Coil featuring Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie. Elsewhere on the record, there are three Breeders covers (performed by Tune-Yards, Deerhunter's Bradford Cox and Big Thief), two Pixies covers (Bing & Ruth and Tkay Maidza), two Deerhunter covers (Aldous Harding and Helado Negro) and two Grimes covers (by Spencer and Dry Cleaning), plus Future Islands delivering a soulful rendition of Colourbox's "The Moon Is Blue," Jenny Hval covering Lush's "Sunbathing," and more.
4AD has just shared the first side of the compilation: Tkay Maidza turns Pixies' "Where Is My Mind?" into a glitchy, stadium-sized anthem; U.S. Girls clean up The Birthday Party's "Junkyard" with bongos, acoustic guitars and swooning strings; Aldous Harding delivers a tender, bewitching take on Deerhunter's "Revival"; The Breeders delicately cover His Name is Alive's "The Dirt Eaters"; and new signing Maria Somerville transforms Air Miami's "Seabird" into an even more ethereal creature.
You can listen to those covers, along with the originals, and check out the full Bills & Aches & Blues tracklist below.
First year proceeds from Bills & Aches & Blues is going to the Harmony Project -- a Los Angeles-based after-school programme for children from communities and schools that lack equitable access to studying the arts or music.
Bills & Aches & Blues tracklist:
1. Tkay Maidza - Where Is My Mind? (Pixies cover) 02:57
2. U.S. Girls - Junkyard (The Birthday Party cover) 03:00
3. Aldous Harding - Revival (Deerhunter cover) 02:17
4. The Breeders - The Dirt Eaters (His Name Is Alive cover) 03:35
5. Maria Somerville - Seabird (Air Miami cover) 04:37
6. Tune-Yards - Cannonball (The Breeders cover) 03:11
7. Spencer - Genesis (Grimes cover) 04:30
8. Helado Negro - Futurism (Deerhunter cover) 03:10
9. Efterklang - Postal (Piano Magic cover) 04:00
10. Bing & Ruth - Gigantic (Pixies cover) 05:30
11. Future Islands - The Moon Is Blue (Colourbox cover) 04:39
12. Jenny Hval - Sunbathing (Lush cover) 02:46
13. Dry Cleaning - Oblivion (Grimes cover) 03:50
14. Bradford Cox - Mountain Battles (The Breeders cover) 06:25
15. SOHN - Song To The Siren (This Mortal Coil / Tim Buckley cover) 04:46
16. Becky and the Birds - The Wolves (Act I and II) (Bon Iver cover) 04:31
17. Ex:Re - Misery Is a Butterfly (Blonde Redhead cover) 05:09
18. Big Thief - Off You (The Breeders cover)