S05E14 – Burning Bridge

Don’t worry, you won’t have to be waiting all night long for a new b-side episode! We’re indeed going to tell you all about this week’s song, Burning Bridge. Recorded specifically as a b-side and stated as such by Kate herself, Burning Bridge is a frenzied, militaristic song with tons of background vocals, a charging beat, pounding piano, and an intense lead vocal.

This b-side continues the tradition of Kate releasing a song that’s completely different than the a-side (in this case, Cloudbusting). Diego Ortega, another young Kate fan, is on the show this week to discuss with Cecilee why this is one of his favorite Kate Bush songs, and they discuss the musical structure, its release, and also try to figure out why they both love this song so much!

Song clips played:

Burning Bridge

Fan video:

Burning Bridge (fan-made video)

S05E13 – Under the Ivy

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!

Patreon Plug!

Strange Phenomena now has a Patreon page. If you’d like to support the show, visit www.patreon.com/katebushpodcast and become a subscriber today!

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

Music video:

Under the Ivy live on the Tube, 1986

S05E12 – The Morning Fog

Are we really at the end of another album?

Yes we are!

Don’t worry; there are still b-sides and collaborations to come! (among many for this season: Under the Ivy! Burning Bridge! My Lagan Love! The Handsome Cabin Boy! The Seer! Don’t Give Up!)

But first: The Morning Fog.

After the nightmare that was the Ninth Wave, we come to the end of the story and of the album with a beautiful song about gratitude and rebirth. To conclude the final album track for this season, we have a fellow American Kate fan on the line, Elizabeth Anne from Pennsylvania, who has loved this song since she heard the album Hounds of Love as a child, thanks to her father.

In this week’s episode, Cecilee and Elizabeth talk about the instrumentation, how this song fits into the overall story of the Ninth Wave, how this song was performed live in the Before the Dawn shows, and their own personal stories and thoughts on this lovely little song!

Patreon Plug!

Strange Phenomena now has a Patreon page. If you’d like to support the show, visit www.patreon.com/katebushpodcast and become a subscriber today!

Song clips played:

The Morning Fog

The Morning Fog (Before the Dawn version)

Laurence Made Me Cry – The Morning Fog (Kate Bush Cover)

Kate Bush – The Morning Fog Instrumental Cover

And Dream of Sheep

Interviews:

Hounds of Love, Classic Albums, 1992

S05E11 – Hello Earth

With just your heart and your mind, you could be driving driving home listening to the latest episode of the show!

After an unexpected two week break, we’re back with the second to last song for the Hounds of Love album. Hello Earth is the climax of the album, a shifting, ethereal piece that was written to evoke exactly what the subject is: drifting above the earth and watching yourself as you either fall asleep and die, or are rescued (depending on your interpretation of the ending of this story to come next week in The Morning Fog).

To discuss this song this week, we have two major fans (not just our host!). Paul Tate is a Kate superfan from Atlanta, Georgia who has been on the show previously to talk about Kate’s song structures and chord progressions. Zoey P is a regular contributer and friend of the show from New York City who counts Hello Earth as one of her top favorite Kate Bush songs.

So are you ready to go floating above the earth?

Song clips played

Hello Earth (album version)

Hello Earth (Before the Dawn version)

Hello Earth (performed by Cloudbusting)

Tsintskaro (performed by the Rustavi choir)

Other things mentioned:

Nosferatu clip with Tsintskaro playing over it

S05E10 – Jig of Life

Hello you Kate Bush fans, ready to put on your dancing shoes? Time to dance a jig of life! After the somber and thoughtful Watching You Without Me, we’re on to the next track, the energetic Jig of Life!

Two fans (who are also Patreon supporters of the show!) are on board to discuss this song. Christine Kelley runs the blog Dreams of Orgonon and has made numerous appearances on the show before, while Craig Houston is a long-time Kate fan from Ohio. We talk about the lyrics, the vocal performance, Kate’s brother Jay’s poem at the end, and learn just what a jig is!

Patreon Plug!

Strange Phenomena now has a Patreon page. If you’d like to support the show, visit www.patreon.com/katebushpodcast and become a subscriber today!

Song clips used:

Jig of Life (album version)

Jig of Life (Before the Dawn version)

Alan Stivell – Gaeltacht

Irish Fiddle Jigs – Lannigans, Indian Point, Tenpenny Bit

Interview clips used:

BBC Classic Album Interviews

S05E09 – Watching You Without Me

We can let you know what’s been happening, there’s a new episode of Strange Phenomena for your listening pleasure! This week, our song is Watching You Without Me, a dreamy, spectral tune that plays with a lot of interesting sounds (are those possibly gamelans? And backwards vocals?) and contains some wonderful production techniques.

Two other Kate fans are on board to chat about Watching You Without Me: Alex Dale, a journalist from London, and fellow music nerd Paul Tate from Atlanta! We talk about all those cool production techniques, Paul gets to break down the song and what makes it so unique, and also those beautiful and sad lyrics and how they fit into the overall story being told on The Ninth Wave side of Hounds of Love!

Song clips used:

Watching You Without Me (album version)

Watching You Without Me (live version)

Josh Morphis – Watching You Without Me (piano instrumental)

Other cool topics mentioned in the episode:

Mixolydian mode

Gated reverb

S05E08 – Waking the Witch

We’re continuing into the Ninth Wave with the third track on side two. After the tense atmosphere of Under Ice, we enter another nightmare, this time at a witch trial in the truly frightening Waking the Witch. Performed live for the first time in 2014 in the Before the Dawn shows, Waking the Witch incorporates not just massive production, especially when compared with the previous song. There are also flying vocals and the theme of this song: witch trials and the fear of a woman’s power.

To discuss this song, we have Daniel Thomas from Seattle on the line. Daniel is a long-time Kate fan who was last on the show to talk about Pull Out the Pin and who contributed several song insights to some of the previous season’s songs. We talk about the production on this song (Kate’s use of gated vocals), the Before the Dawn version, feminism, and witch trials.

In addition to talking about the Salem witch trials, we also learn about other people who were accused of witchcraft. We discuss the story of Grace Sherwood, a healer and farmer in early 1700s Virginia who has since been nicknamed the Witch of Pungo. Grace was tried and ducked under accusations of being a witch and it’s said that her spirit still haunts the place where she was ducked (and who has a road named after her in Virginia Beach: Witchduck Road). We also talk about depictions of witches often being women who don’t fit the norm and the fear of women having power, the only man who was tried during the Salem witch trials and our host’s connection to him, and what it was like for our host to travel to Salem, Massachusetts during a road trip as a child with her family.

Patreon Plug!

Strange Phenomena now has a Patreon page. If you’d like to support the show, visit www.patreon.com/katebushpodcast and become a subscriber today!

Song clips included:

Waking the Witch (album version)

Waking the Witch (Before the Dawn version)

Interview clips included:

BBC Classic Albums, Hounds of Love

S05E07 – Under Ice

Come skate past the trees with us as we discuss the second track on side two of Hounds of Love, the minimalist Under Ice. The song may only last two and a half minutes and have few instruments in the production, but what Under Ice does in that time will make you feel like you’re in a different world.

To discuss this song, we have Patreon supporter Paul Muelhbach, who was last on the show in the Cloudbusting episode, calling from Germany. We talk about the psychological implications of this song, the tense atmosphere, how this song was performed live in the Before the Dawn shows, and how it fits into the overarching story of The Ninth Wave!

Patreon Plug!

Strange Phenomena now has a Patreon page. If you’d like to support the show, visit www.patreon.com/katebushpodcast and become a subscriber today!

Song clips included:

Under Ice (album version)

Under Ice (Before the Dawn)

Interview clips included:

BBC Classic Albums, Hounds of Love

S05E06 – And Dream of Sheep

Ready to dive in to the Ninth Wave portion of the album? We hope so! This week, we’re talking about the first song on the second side of Hounds of Love, the piano-driven song And Dream of Sheep. Not only is this an oft-covered song, but it contains many beautiful elements that make it a fan favorite.

Especially for this week’s guests!

We get to hear from longtime Kate fan Keith DeWeese and his experience hearing this song for the Before the Dawn shows. We also talk about the deceptively simple melody and arrangement and how it lulls you into thinking it’s a nice little song, even though it is on the beginning. We also get musical insights from Paul Tate, another American Kate fan, who has been on the show previously to dissect the Hounds of Love title track.

Patreon Plug!

Strange Phenomena now has a Patreon page. If you’d like to support the show, visit www.patreon.com/katebushpodcast and become a subscriber today!

Song clips included:

And Dream of Sheep (album version)

And Dream of Sheep (live 2014)

Tori Amos – And Dream of Sheep (live 2014)

And Dream of Sheep piano instrumental by YANTA

Interview clips included:

BBC Classic Albums, Hounds of Love

Music video:

And Dream of Sheep (live 2014)

Bonus: Before the Dawn – Five Years Later

Five years ago this week, in August 2014, a huge event happened in Kate Bush fandom: the beginning of Kate’s London residency, Before the Dawn. It wasn’t just another rock music gig. In the way that only Kate can do it, Before the Dawn was a theatrical experience like none other and, most importantly, it was her first set of live shows since 1979. It was also an event we all hope will eventually come out on DVD, but at least we have the audio for now. (Still BOOO anyway!)

While our host didn’t get to see the show (BOOOO!), Cecilee has gotten to talk with a fan who was there! So in honor of the shows and also the episodes to come for this season (we’ll go into And Dream of Sheep and the rest of the Ninth Wave next week!), we’re talking with Elizabeth Bracy, a long-time Kate fan from Portland, Oregon. Elizabeth made the trek to London and saw the show and she’s here to talk about her experience seeing the show, what it was like getting tickets, AND…. seeing The Ninth Wave live on stage for the first time.