It won’t take us long to tell you how to find the next episode of Strange Phenomena: it’s right here in your feed!
So when you’re done celebrating Thanksgiving and stuffing yourself full of turkey today (if you’re an American listener!), come take a moment to listen to this week’s episode of Strange Phenomena and chill out to this lovely little song, the first b-side episode for the Hounds of Love season!
It can’t get any better than starting with the gorgeous, fan favorite Under the Ivy, the flip side of the album’s lead single Running Up That Hill. While Running Up That Hill is very produced and drum-heavy, Under the Ivy goes back to the basics: Kate and her piano, telling a mysterious story, all in the space of less than two and a half minutes.
Under the Ivy ranks highly among Kate fans and it’s not hard to see why! We get to hear Kate’s gorgeous voice singing poetic lyrics that seem both personal and ambiguous at the same time. Then there’s her vocal unadorned by anything except a little reverb and one background vocal (“for meeeeeeeeeee”) and behind her vocal is her fluidly playing piano over a sad and yearning melody in G minor. It’s a song that’s open to a lot of interpretation, but always brings you in to its little world. And then, just like that, it’s over, and you want to go back again and again.
To discuss this song this week, we have two other mega-fans of the song: Alex Dale, a journalist from London who was last on the show to discuss Watching You Without Me; Wayne Henderson, a long-time American Kate fan and the host of the Packers Fan podcast. We get to talk about our personal connections to the song, and what we think those lyrics mean. What do we think the “it” is that she sings about in “it wouldn’t take me long to tell you how to find it.” What is the meaning of a “white rose,” and why do we need to go to it? What does it mean to be “sitting here in the thunder, the green on the gray”?
Nothing is decided on, but we have a great discussion of it for sure!
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Song clips played:
Under the Ivy
Under the Ivy (performed live on The Tube, 1986)
Under the Ivy (YANTA version)
Keane – Somewhere Only We Know
Under the Ivy live on the Tube, 1986