"Running Up That Hill" by Kate Bush is sitting atop the charts in 2022. The charts? How do they even calculate those in the era of streaming, anyway? Never mind. If you've been living under a rock or a cave and haven't heard why a Kate Bush song that was released in 1985 is a chart-topper in 2022, let me help you.
Stranger Things Than Fiction
"Stranger Things" season four was released on Netflix in early June. The fourth season has a heavier narrative story for a few of the characters, especially Max Mayfield. There are a lot of spoilers but I'm going to do my best to avoid them. Season four has an emotionally intense storyline for Max. It crescendos (literally and musically) into a very intense scene that many "Stranger Things" fans felt touched them deeply. I didn't cry, why are you asking? (I did cry. Shut up.) If you don't want to see the scene, skip this video and do not press play.
While most viewers may see that as frightening and intense, it's also powerfully beautiful and meaningful. There could be an entire piece on that topic but I digress. I remember telling my wife (who isn't a viewer of the show) how much that touched me, and I was jamming to the song later that week. She pointed out that it was a song that is nothing like the pantheon of music I would typically listen to.
She was right. A decade ago someone sent me a different Kate Bush song on YouTube and I have to admit that I found it so preposterous and esoteric, that I dismissed it. I will admit that a lot of Kate Bush's music always felt so dissonant in a way that I did not appreciate. I liked dissonance in my pop music, but Bush's music didn't grab me. A lot still does not, but as I've grown in the last decade, much of it I have learned to love. We're allowed to grow, right? Don't roast me for this. I have grown. Anyway.
It led me to this thought: what other Kate Bush songs need inclusion in a show or movie? It's a short list, but I thought people needed some other music of hers to appreciate.
Hounds of Love
"It's coming for me through the trees
Oh, help me, someone
Help me, please
Take my shoes off
And throw them in the lake
And I'll be two steps on the water"
Lyrically this song could have been used in the same season of "Stranger Things." I picked this because the more melodic music in her catalog appeals to me, and the lyrics are meaningful. More thematically, this song could fit in any rom-com or a serious film about love. It's about being afraid to fall in love. Whom among us has not felt that vulnerability?
And Dream of Sheep
I promise this is the last song from "Hounds of Love." I love the 2014 version, which Bush recorded live. It's beautiful. The chord progression is beautiful, especially in the sixth chords that exist throughout the piece. Lyrically, the theme of finding solace is prevalent. It could be taken a bit more literally about someone helping you find the way home, but I think it deals with trying to find peace in life. Bush herself described the song more literally, but I think she knew in writing it that it could be interpreted in a variety of ways. Either way, this song is so haunting.
How To Be Invisible
I know. I had to choose something off-kilter. This song is unique in the pantheon of Bush's unique career, though. It has the instrumentation of an Elton John song and the iconic and unmistakable high-registered melodies that Bush is known for all at once. It's a beautiful composition that goes full 70s pop/rock but manages to sound like Kate Bush.
"How I'm moved, how you move me
With your beauty's potency
You give me life, please don't let me go
You crush the lily in my soul"
"How To Be Invisible" would be a fun song to try and fit into a show or film. I could make the obvious comment, which would be to say it belongs in a very indie or arthouse type of film. It could do that. I could see this song used in a powerfully opposing manner—in a film about war or a show about sadness. It could also find itself right in Bush's demographic wheelhouse, and I would love to see it in a moving "coming of age" show with young women or even young men. I abhor the cliche and this song could push a scene forward.
I only pushed three songs for my narrative. Find your own Kate Bush brilliance, as there is a lot to peruse. What songs would you have chosen and for what type of medium? Let us know on Twitter at @EnFuegoNow or @AJontheguitar.