Kate Bush predicts the future of music on the retro “Stranger Things”

To the extent that the story of popular music over the past half century has also been largely a story of women taking more and more control, the 1985 “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” was bigger than a hit. It was a landmark and a birth, a hymn source of willpower and enlightenment.

The first song from English singer-songwriter Kate Bush’s fifth studio album, its opening fabric from the forefront of the Fairlight synthesizer and the thriving Linn drum marked the sharing of clouds in her career and musically extensively. It was silent proof that the female musician and technician won by directing everything: Bush was a writer, producer, singer, keyboardist, and arranger. It will remain an eternal lighthouse on the night of being different. Bush had already been an unusual star, famous in the UK for his extensive, symphonic piano rock, which wrapped his interest in glam, folk, new wave, classical and proge music. Now he was groundbreaking if misunderstood as a multibyte character by Spin and NME both declared him a genius.

That Bush is recovering and connecting to a whole new generation with “Running Up That Hill’s” in “Season 4”Foreign things“- more than syncing, the song is a recurring plot in the 80s pastis series – is cosmically perfect. The theatricality and horror of the show are in line with Bush’s supernatural hints. During a woman’s increased cultural understanding of genius, her place in the pop pantheon is undeniable: the quirk of Bush’s vision and massive melodies have made a big impact on the race of bold and unforgivable younger artists who usually deify online. . And today’s audience has replied, “Running Up That Hill” is currently ranked No. 2 on Spotify’s Global Top 50 Songs and No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.

TV was one of Bush’s own sources of inspiration. “I was always in front of the TV instead of doing my homework,” he once said. “I wasn’t reading books.” As is well known, Bush watched a BBC-arranged novel by Emily Bronte one night in 1977 as she continued to write her debut single, which lasted for 44 years, until she appeared in Britain’s only number one hit last week – the first woman to write and complete the single – “Wuthering Heights. ”

Like David Bowie, Bush studied under renowned mime artist Lindsay Kemp. Like Prince, with whom he collaborated, he is still legendary for his formal transformation and the creation of brilliant individual lines, such as “I want to be a researcher / but I really can’t bother!” After attending Bowie’s last Ziggy Stardust tour in 1973, he became an art-rock spider from Mars, descending back to Earth through a moon whose high-wired baroque sound pulled him back, though his beliefs pushed him forward. As if occupying the highest register of the early Joni Mitchell song and lifting his fever-dream soprano from there, he defies the supposed heights of the song with the sensitive power of an acrobat – Mitchell and Billie Holiday are both reported influences – Bush reaffirmed her femininity. in red, out loud his heart chart.

Bush’s homemade bands ended up in the hands of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour in the mid-70s, who had been such an early and prolific songwriter since childhood. He was so amazed at his talent that he paid for and performed his first decent demo recordings. Later, when Pink Floyd finished the 1975 song “Wish You Were Here.” On Abbey Road, Gilmour called Demot to an EMI A&R representative who signed him. Four increasingly experimental albums later, Bush knew his most accomplished work would require unprecedented freedom. The last song in his self-produced 1982 opus, The Dreaming, was called “Out of my house”-“ My home, my joy, I am blocked and locked… I will not let you in ”; his desire for more autonomy could not have been clearer. To get deeper into his uncompromising self, he had to find his own studio in the mold of Virginia Woolf.

A man puts his arms around a woman and poses for a photo

Kate Bush and Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmour, circa 1990.

(Dave Hogan / Getty Images)

Bush was at an intersection. “The Dreaming” was not considered a commercial success; Stressed and exhausted by his obsessive work ethic, he said after the record: “I was just a complete wreck, physically and mentally.” At the age of 20, he alleviated burnout by moving his youth back from London to the Kent countryside, near a farm where he was raised as the youngest of three in a quirky, art-loving family. (The 2010 biography “Under the Ivy” depicts the Bush family’s New Year’s Eve celebration in 1979, which was unusually quiet: in one room, everyone was stoned; in another, they listened to 17th-century recorder music.) “The countryside is stunning, Bush said at the time. “I sit at the piano and watch the sky move and the trees blow, and it’s a lot more exciting than the buildings and roads and the millions of people.” He adopted a healthier lifestyle, re-engaged in focused dance studies, and, most importantly, built his own 48-track studio barn, where he had better access to his own intuition, inner rhythms, and worked at his own pace to build himself. the most direct sound.

Strict dance instruction corresponded to Bush’s most ecstatic bursts of creativity. During her time in the “Hounds of Love” series, she studied with Dyane Gray-Cullert, a Detroit dancer trained in the expressive Martha Graham technique of modern dance. Emphasizing the serious but highly emotional actions of contraction and liberation, Graham came up with the idea that dance, like poetry, is what you choose it to be. For Graham, the practicing dancer became an “athlete of God” who always walked the cable car. “Sometimes I’m afraid to venture into the unknown,” Graham once wrote. “But it’s part of the creation and the performance. That’s what the dancer does.” This fearless spirit gave “dogs of love.”

The rhythm programmed in “Running Up That Hill” seems to be irrevocably connected to the bones, as if Bush’s study of modern dance guided the clear movements of silver music — he had also practiced ballet — not the other way around. In the video, Bush reaches out toward the sky. His voice is elevated from that dimension, the urgency of stretching the limbs, flesh, and blood high. “Do you want to know that it doesn’t hurt me?” he sings in the deepest and most glowing tone. Bush expresses a desire to make a deal with a higher power to change places with a man, to “exchange experiences” to create understanding – in a relationship, maybe even today in a world where “we both care, right?” could be a polemic refrain.

This feminist resonance loads every self-produced “Running Up That Hill” tune. Typically, taking on the role of a male producer, Bush literally expresses his desire. He has said he had to fight to continue producing his own music: “It felt like my production of‘ Hounds of Love ’ it wasn’t such a good idea, “he once said politely.” For the first time, I felt like I was facing artistic resistance. ” But in the uphill battle of his aberrant self-sufficiency, Bush dominated every component: deciding where to expand or gate sound, where to add echo, fitting electronic instruments alongside ancient instruments, producing the future.

“If only I could,” Bush sings. In terms of music, it was a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Kate Bush shares the autograph.

Kate Bush shares the autograph, 1980.

(Mirrorpix / Getty Images)

The higher the hill, the closer to the sky. “Hounds of Love” clearly includes heavenly pop music; its September 9, 1985 release ceremony was at the London Planetarium. Maybe that’s why I went back to it constantly in late summer 2020, when at times it felt like the only show left was the sky. Most evenings I ran through Brooklyn’s Prospect Park listening to “Hounds of Love,“Looking for low-flying bats (Bush has a documented affinity for adorable but scary flying foxes), staring at the moon for sure that every mile closer I understood some elementary significance that, according to his title track proposal, could come from taking off shoes and throwing them into a lake – or at least strengthening them. . “Hounds of Love” just makes sense in the air, in motion.

The idea to listen to the song “Hounds of Love” during the run was a proposal by young London experimental musician Charlie Valentine, who records as No Home and is one of an apparently endless group of popular and underground musicians who mention Bush as the North Star. Bush’s high-octane originality prepared the world for volcanic sounds like Tori Amos and Björk, who cite “The Dreaming” as an all-time favorite. Solange has covered him. Oakland art pop writer Tia Cabral, who records as Spellling, reshared her recently created song “Hounds of Love.” art. Lorden and Mitskin’s expressive modern dance and melodrama, the elegant, subtly wild avant-garde of FKA Twigs, Perfume Genius and Julia Holter – Bush has a lot of influence. Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast said that while making her breakthrough LP, last year’s Jubilee album, she asked herself, “What was Kate Bush doing?”

The woman performs on stage

Kate Bush performs in March 1983.

(Via Jean-Jacques Bernier / Gamma-Rapho Getty Images)

Fiona Apple sang for Bush in 2020 and nodded to “Running Up That Hill” title track on their own masterpiece albums “Get the bolt cutters.” Although its sparer instrumentation differs from the futuristic electronic synthesis of “Running Up That Hill,” it shares the song’s openness and wonder, its enlightened sense of breakthrough. “I grew up in shoes that told me I could fill / Shoes that weren’t made to run on that hill,” Apple sings, “And I have to run up that hill / I have to run up that hill / I’m going, I want, I want.” , he conjures as the song cracks into the barking and personal liberation of dogs.

“It was an angry thought:‘ I grew up in their shoes told me I could fill – not in the shoes I wanted, not in the shoes I thought I could fill. ” Apple said at the moment. As a child, Apple sat at his piano singing and playing songs from Bush’s 1978 debut song “The Kick Inside” from his sheet music collection “Complete Kate Bush”. Both women came to the pop machine in their teens, and they became unusual celebrities; both became a staunch defender of their privacy, rarely, if ever, on tour in search of excitement for nature. “You can end up playing a role that isn’t you and letting people write about yourself in life,” Apple said of the words. “But how did I really grow up? And whose footsteps did I want to follow?” He wanted to run of his own free will. Bush helped steer the road.

The fact that Apple referred to the album “Running Up That Hill,” in which he also took better control of his music, is appropriate. Like Bush, he recorded at home, collaborated with friends, and followed intuitive rhythms. Like Bush, he sought inspiration from Martha Graham’s physicality by holding a photograph of a dance icon on the piano. Both “Fetch the Bolt Cutters” – and “Hounds of Love” have dogs – in Bush’s case, a purple picture on the cover surrounded by his family’s two Weimaranese Bonnie and Clyde – which is certainly no coincidence. , dogs, as they do, provide soul-strengthening love support.

“Kate Bush was one of those women who held my hand through my life,” Apple said. “It felt good to reach out a little and say, I’ll follow him up the hill.” 37 years later, Bush’s path of ascension is constantly inviting opportunity.

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