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4AD's 40th Anniversary Compilation - The Final Instalment

The fourth and final instalment of the Bills & Aches & Blues compilation is released today. For ‘Side 4’, SOHN reworks ‘Song To The Siren’ (written by Tim Buckley and originally covered by This Mortal Coil) while Becky And The Birds, Ex:Re and Big Thief cover songs by Bon Iver, Blonde Redhead and the Breeders respectively.

Bills & Aches & Blues - Side 4

15 SOHN Song To The Siren ( Tim Buckley )
16 Becky And The Birds The Wolves Act I and II ( Bon Iver )
17 Ex:Re Misery Is a Butterfly ( Blonde Redhead )
18 Big Thief Off You ( The Breeders )

Bills & Aches & Blues features 18 of the label’s 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 & Aches & Blues will be released on 2 April digitally, with standard vinyl and CD editions following on 23 July and a deluxe vinyl boxset later this year. To pre-order head to The first 12 months’ profits from Bills & Aches & Blues will be donated 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 - Side 4

15 SOHN Song To The Siren ( Tim Buckley )
16 Becky And The Birds The Wolves Act I and II ( Bon Iver )
17 Ex:Re Misery Is a Butterfly ( Blonde Redhead )
18 Big Thief Off You ( The Breeders )

Bills & Aches & Blues’ 18 recordings contain 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 & Aches & 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 & 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.

Bills & Aches & Blues
Side 1:
01 Tkay Maidza Where Is My Mind? ( Pixies )
02 U.S. Girls Junkyard ( The Birthday Party )
03 Aldous Harding Revival ( Deerhunter )
04 The Breeders Dirt Eaters ( His Name Is Alive )
05 Maria Somerville Seabird ( Air Miami )

Side 2:
06 Tune-Yards Cannonball ( The Breeders )
07 Spencer. Genesis ( Grimes )
08 Helado Negro Futurism ( Deerhunter )
09 Efterklang Postal ( Piano Magic )
10 Bing and Ruth Gigantic ( Pixies )

Side 3:
11 Future Islands The Moon Is Blue ( Colourbox )
12 Jenny Hval Sunbathing ( Lush )
13 Dry Cleaning Oblivion ( Grimes )
14 Bradford Cox Mountain Battles ( Breeders )

Side 4:
15 SOHN Song To The Siren ( Tim Buckley )
16 Becky and The Birds The Wolves Act I and II ( Bon Iver )
17 Ex:Re Misery Is a Butterfly ( Blonde Redhead )
18 Big Thief Off You ( The Breeders )

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