4AD has shared the final four songs from their Bills & Aches & Blues compilation, which officially releases in full on Friday, April 2. The compilation comprises covers of songs from 4AD’s past releases by artists currently on their roster. For this installment, SOHN covers Tim Buckley’s “Song to the Siren,” Becky and the Birds covers Bon Iver’s “The Wolves Act I and II,” Ex:Re covers Blonde Redhead’s “Misery Is a Butterfly” and Big Thief covers The Breeders’ “Off You.”
Big Thief is one of the most popular acts on the compilation’s lineup and the Breeders are another, so this cover is one of the more notable recordings off it. The Breeder’s 2002 song is one of their softer tracks, since they’re known for some of their more upbeat rock jams. For their cover, Big Thief adds some drums and uses a familiar folk guitar tone, but otherwise let Adrianne Lenker’s bright vocals shine.
R&B vocalist SOHN adds some atmospheric pads to Tim Buckley’s 1970 tune, and asides from some sparse guitar playing, turns it into a more ambient piece. The modern production puts some space into the recording which supports the emotionally present lyrics, “Hear me sing/Swim to me, swim to me/Let me enfold you/Here I am, here I am/Waiting to hold you.”
Becky and the Birds put some more soul into Bon Iver’s 2007 folk piece and added some lush orchestration. It ends with dreamy humming and atmospheric horns, which build up to a more climactic take on the track than Bon Iver’s wintery vibe.
Blonde Redhead’s 2004 original was already a cinematic, lush track and UK singer Ex:Re’s version uses that to her advantage for her version. Her brand of mellow pop is well-suited for the cover, playing up the melancholic guitar part and using strings more sparingly.
Bills & Aches & Blues is available for physical pre-order on 4AD’s site. Other notable covers previously released from the compilation include Tkay Maidza’s rendition of The Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind,” U.S. Girls’ rendition of The Birthday Party’s “Junkyard,” Tune-Yards’ rendition of The Breeders’ “Cannonball,” Helado Negro’s rendition of Deerhunter’s “Futurism,” Future Islands’ rendition of Colourbox’s “The Moon is Blue” and Jenny Hval’s rendition of Lush’s “Sunbathing.”