41 years after its inception, 4AD continues to look forward. But a record label' s catalogue of releases is essentially timeless. So, the idea grew to ask current artists to cover a song of their choosing from 4AD past: a creative experiment rooted in the spirit of collaboration and a snapshot of 4AD today.

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' 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 & Aches & 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.


#1 Album of the Year - Rough Trade

“A rare kind of musical storytelling”
- Pitchfork (8.6 - Best New Music)

“The most exciting guitar band of recent times”
- The Wire

“Brilliant... a debut album that justifies the hype”
- The Sunday Times

“Terrific post-punk poets of the everyday”
- The Guardian ****

“It' s a tiny world you' ll find yourself drawn to, one you won' t want to leave”
- The i Paper ****

“Cerebral, caustic, exhilarating debut”
- MOJO ****

“Fresh, clever and endlessly intriguing, it adds up to a stellar debut”
- Record Collector ****

In April, South London quartet Dry Cleaning released their debut album New Long Leg.

Born from the combined creative talents of Nick Buxton (drums), Tom Dowse (guitar), Lewis Maynard (bass) and Florence Shaw (vocals), it was produced by John Parish at Rockfield Studios and features the singles ‘Scratchcard Lanyard', ‘Strong Feelings' and 'Unsmart Lady'. Following the universally acclaimed 2019 EPs Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks and Sweet Princess, the group's first full-length album is more ambitious and complex, with Shaw's spoken vocals tightly intertwined with the band's restless instrumentals. Shaw extracts the most immense meaning from the most trivial things; she peppers the songs with a thousand tiny details, little witty asides about supermarkets, cupboards, beauty products and body parts add up to sonic landscapes that teem with the strange magic of ordinary life.


“de Casier' s dramatics are all kept on the inside and spun into masterfully crafted songs that evoke the lush, big-budget era of R&B and pop music in the ' 90s and ' 00s. Not to get too corny about it, but the album is indeed sensational.”
- Stereogum - Album of the Week

“It' s music that looks to the past, made by an artist too original to be a revivalist: memories and retrospection rearranged into something fresh.”
- The Guardian - Album of the Week ****

Danish producer and songwriter Erika de Casier released Sensational, her second studio album, in May.

Sensational expands the universe of de Casier' s 2019 self-released debut album Essentials. Where Essentials dealt more with the infatuation stages of love, Sensational has more of an attitude, aiming to dismantle the stereotype of single women looking for love, tackling relationship dramas and the toxicity of dating. It was a chance to rewrite scenarios in ways that empowered her, fantasising about what could' ve been. Sensational was co-produced by de Casier and Natal Zaks and is a breath of fresh air to anyone with a passion for music in all its genres, as much influenced by Aaliyah and Janet Jackson as house, garage and techno. With hushed, pillow-soft vocals and production that references turn-of-the-millenium sounds, de Casier' s sound surveys the past while looking to the future.


“A collection of quietly shimmering songs that demand to be played loud.”
- The Guardian

“Far In is just another reminder that hope is up ahead.”
- Crack

“Dappled with joyous, rhythmic love songs suited for the dancefloor alongside more somber, nature-minded tracks with lush strings, wind instruments, and piano.”
- Pitchfork

“Across the fifteen songs, Roberto Lange shifts between comforting dream-like compositions to flashbacks of the party from the night before.”
- Loud And Quiet

“Far In is filled with celestial lullabies that confront earthly anxieties... his first album for the stalwart indie label 4AD, will bring his subtle hymns to what may be his largest audience yet.”
- New York Times

Roberto Carlos Lange, the cornerstone of Helado Negro, released his new album Far In in October. The 15-track record is Lange's seventh full-length outing as Helado Negro and his first for 4AD.

When Helado Negro began writing Far In immediately following his breakthrough 2019 release This is How You Smile, he could not have predicted that we would soon need to learn how to stay at home and be the stars of our domestic dance floors with intimates and online communities. “Escape is never out there, you have to go inward,” Roberto reflects on developing an epic Helado Negro double album during these extraordinary times, embracing the dark of the unknown with openness, pleasure, and growth. Throughout Roberto's career, imagined beings, ghosts and haunted machines appear in sci-fi stories and his own conjurings. On Far In, Roberto says he “celebrates the ghosts,” embracing pleasure and freedom to follow the metaphysical further.


“Chua's stately and luscious vocals have palpable soul; likewise her serene melodies”
- MOJO ****

- Uncut

“Spellbinding music”
- Dazed

“Lucinda Chua makes the sculptural, beguiling, atmospheric kind of music you can cocoon yourself inside”
- gal-dem

“Her songs are deep pools of sound and emotion partially lit by quivering strings and Chua's half-whispered vocals”
- The New Cue

“Fresh, clever and endlessly intriguing, it adds up to a stellar debut”
- Record Collector ****

Lucinda Chua is a singer, songwriter, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist based in South London. Born in London and raised in Milton Keynes, Chua has English, Malaysian and ancestral Chinese roots. Having learned music by ear from the age of three using the Suzuki method (whereby young children are taught music in the same way they would a native language), Chua regards music as a natural form of non-verbal self-expression. While barely in her 20s, Chua caught the attention of US label kranky, releasing two albums with her first band Felix and touring with Stars of the Lid as a cellist and string arranger. After Felix's demise, and relocating to London, Chua self-released her debut solo EP Antidotes 1 whilst simultaneously performing FKA twigs' live band for her Magdalene tour in 2019. Sister release Antidotes 2 followed in May 2021 after signing with 4AD. Earning praise from Pitchfork, The Guardian, Dazed and gal-dem, Chua has performed one-person shows across the UK and Europe including Red Bull Music Festival London, MUTEK Barcelona, Tate Modern and Somerset House.

Primarily using her voice, a cello and an array of effects units, Antidotes is a collection of ambient pop songs that are intimate, atmospheric and enchanting. A perfect introduction to Chua's unique sonic vocabulary, the 8-track release includes recent Antidotes 2 singles ‘Until I Fall' and ‘Torch Song'. If Antidotes 1 is Chua building the landscape and scenary for her music, Antidotes 2 is her living within it.


For its 30th anniversary, Pixies 1991 album, Trompe Le Monde, was reissued on limited marbled green vinyl.

Trompe Le Monde bookended a golden run of landmark records - a mini-album followed by four albums, released in quick succession - that cemented Pixies as one of the best for a generation.

Translated from French to mean “fool the world”, Trompe Le Monde showed the band still restless to push their sound forward. Recorded between Burbank, Paris, and London, with producer Gil Norton again at the controls, their fourth album is arguably their most playful, with Black Francis's lyrics on UFOs and conspiracy theories keeping things weird while power pop creeps in to amplify the space rock established on predecessor Bossanova.

Featuring singles ‘Planet of Sound', ‘Alec Eiffel', ‘Letter to Memphis', and a flawless cover of The Jesus and Mary Chain's ‘Head On', Trompe Le Monde goes full throttle with 15 tracks coming in a quickfire 40-minute salvo. Receiving critical praise at the time and being supported by a huge tour that included playing stadiums with U2, it also proved to be the end of act one for the band, with them taking over a decade before returning to the stage together.

A brilliant record, Trompe Le Monde sounds just as fresh 30 years on with outlets such as Pitchfork concurring, retrospectively scoring it 9.3, they called it “more aggressive than anything in their catalog but also more confident. They can handle this now, and they do.”

“Heartbreak and joy sweetened with deep grooves”
- NME ****

“A captivating listen, Spencer.'s skills as a producer and songwriter have never been more evident. Period.”
- DIY ****

“A lovelorn narrative weaves through NYC newcomer's first. Indie heartbreakers ‘Lonely As I Ever Was', ‘RocStar' and ‘Drop' hybridise soul hooks, hip-hop flows and shimmering guitars, whose chilled, down-home charms remind of Duckworth and early dc Basehead.”
- MOJO ****

“It only takes two minutes to understand Spencer's appeal...a prodigious talent”

“A lush kind of soul that shifts and swoons, it's a rich and promising debut.”
- Loud And Quiet

“Lovesick, woozy, and somewhat optimistic, Are U Down? demonstrates an inherent musicality and dextrous ability that is likely to become magical.”
- The Line Of Best Fit

In September, Spencer. released his debut album, Are U Down? digitally.

Written, recorded and produced by Spencer. during the pandemic, its 11 songs blend R&B, hip-hop, funk, indie, pop, jazz and soul to create a sound that feels both analog and digital, honouring the past whilst staying firmly in the present. Spencer. has integrated neo-soul vocal fireworks, hip-hop flow and pop ambition into an album steeped in all the feels of a New York summer.


Tkay Maidza's third and final release in her Last Year Was Weird EP series is released digitally today. Featuring the singles ‘Cashmere', ‘Syrup' and ‘Kim' and produced by long-time collaborator Dan Farber, Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 3 represents the culmination of a 3-year-long, 24 song-strong exploration of Maidza's own African-Australian experience. Across Vol. 3's 8 tracks Tkay is fully realising her artistic versatility encompassing everything from pop to trap to R&B.


“Fizzing with a creative fire”
- Uncut (8/10)

“It's life-affirming”
- The Line of Best Fit (8/10)

“Social conscience with feelgood entertainment”
- The Guardian ****

“11 tracks of technicolour indie pop”
- DIY ****

“Bubbling over with inventiveness.”
- The Arts Desk ****

“sketchy. is vibrant, engaged and self-aware”
- FT ****

“This could be a new peak for Tune-Yards and they couldn't have timed this release any better for society's collective sanity if they tried”
- Dork ****

“sketchy. takes the best, feral pulses from tUnE-yArDs' DIY material and the richest sounds of later records in its doubling down on societal crises”
- NME ****

“A tried and true favorite”
- NPR All Songs Considered

“Fluid and full of surprises”
- The Sunday Times

“Some of the most intriguing, eclectic, and thought-provoking music in the world of indie”
- Stereogum

In March, Tune-Yards released their fifth studio album, sketchy.

The 11-track record balances self-inspection and reflection with bombastic rallying cries, reminiscent of the furious tones of early days Tune-Yards. The result is a colorful and joyous record with lyrics that cut to the bone. Merrill Garbus says of the album, “I started remembering that people come to us to be entertained, to move, to feel joy. And together, I think, we can wake up.”