Album Review: Bills & Aches & Blues by Various Artists
Fairly Good, Based on 2 Critics
Pitchfork - 69 Based on rating 6.9/10
The venerable UK indie label 4AD has long embodied a sensibility more than a particular sound. As the label's U.S. general manager, Nabil Ayers, recently observed to The New Yorker, even during its halcyon 1980s and '90s, signature acts like dream-pop fantasists Cocteau Twins and college-rock absurdists Pixies had little in common musically. So Bills & Aches & Blues, a new 18-song set of 4AD artists covering other 4AD artists' songs, comes with both a distinguished pedigree and a wide stylistic purview.
When it comes to indie cred on name alone, there are few labels that can hold a candle to 4AD. For four decades, the British institution has played home to some of the most beloved outsiders wanting the freedom to make their own kind of noise. From the off, Ivo Watts-Russell and Peter Kent's venture carved itself a niche, creating a dark and often dreamy realm enhanced by in-house designer Vaughan Oliver's sublime covers.