It's probably impossible to overstate my love for Kate Bush's music. From the moment I first heard her, she has been one of my very favorite artists. To me, she is amazing and inscrutable in ways that only add to the mystery of how she even came to exist in the first place. The odd concept albums, the choreography and dancing, the theatricality of her arrangements, all of it. Listening to any Kate Bush album is, for me, a door to another world.
Among all the critical accolades Ms. Bush has received, I never see much written about her lyrics. There's a lot to unpack, and they get pretty weird. (Ex: "I still dream of Organon" -- what the fuck is Organon? In 1985 there was no internet to help me out with this important question.) But within the dreamscapes and Ren Fair snapshots, there are so many lines that convey honest, human emotion in a way that always lands right in the center of my heart.
"Running Up That Hill" is probably Ms. Bush's best known song, and certainly one of her finest. The melody is transcendent, and her vocal performance is (as usual) superbly well-orchestrated and masterful. But hearing this song for the first time as a high school kid, that wasn't what struck me the hardest. It was the loneliness, the sublime vulnerability and yearning that instantly turned me into a Kate Bush super-fan. To my teenage ears, "Running Up That Hill" was a perfect five minute plea for recognition, for acceptance, and for mercy. She's trying to make a deal with God, and who hasn't thought about that kind of bargain?
"Tell me we both matter, don't we?" When I first heard that line, I knew everything I needed to know about the song, and the artist.
Don Gunn and I have been friends for quite a while, having worked together on many Kirby Krackle albums. The Venn Diagram of our musical enthusiasms is mostly prog rock: Rush, Genesis, King Crimson, etc. One day Don suggested that we do a song together, and I countered with "how about we do a Kate Bush song?" It was an easy decision.
I recorded the main guitar track as a guide, and together we built up the rest of the arrangement around it. Don handled the drums as well as all the production & mixing, while I stuck to stringed instruments, and piled on layers of singing. I have no idea how Ms. Bush would feel about our arrangement, but it's the best we could do and we're quite pleased with it.
This one can be downloaded for free at our Bandcamp page. We'll have more info coming soon about the official release of Suicide Fences this August. In the meantime, please enjoy & share this song, and thanks as ever for listening.