Penned as a “record label made with love” by The Guardian, 4AD was established in 1980 by Ivo Watts-Russell and Peter Kent as a groundbreaking independent phenomenon, operating as a wide scale, artist-focused behemoth that was born and bred in the heart of London. With a storied longevity, cultural impact and legacy that outstretches many, 4AD have long been a bastion for top-tier indie music, reading as a who’s who of past, present and future stars across alternative rock, folk, post-punk, hip hop, pop, electronica and R&B. From their humble beginnings, the influential imprint drove the rise of the likes of Cocteau Twins, Pixies, Watts-Russell’s own collective This Mortal Coil, Bauhaus and Modern English. More recently, 4AD have released essential cuts from Bon Iver, Future Islands and The National, whilst also expanding to new electronica and hip hop-focused ground, signing Purity Ring, Tkay Maidza, Grimes, Spencer and Gang Gang Dance.
Review: Celebrating a generation or more in music - it's something like 41 years now - the 4AD name a label finds itself somewhere between HHV and XL Recordings when it comes to releasing such influential and contemporary music of mass appeal. As we head into a new era Bills & Aches & Blues probably sums it up best for a lot of us right now, with 4AD asking a current crop of artists to cover a song of their choosing from 4AD's past. It sees the likes of New York City's Bing and Ruth take on the Pixies or Becky and the Birds cover Bon Iver's "The Wolves Act I and II". The Birthday Party gets a mention thanks to the U.S. Girls alongside Spencer's version of Grimes "Genesis" next to remakes of Blonde Redhead, Deerhunter, Time Buckley and The Breeders. From generation to generation, long live 4AD.