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.

S05E05 – Cloudbusting

This week we’re marching in time to the beat of the tender but urgent Cloudbusting. The second single from Hounds of Love and a UK Top 40 hit in late 1985, Cloudbusting is more than just an insanely catchy sing-a-long. There is an intriguing and strange backstory, touching lyrics, and….. Donald Sutherland?

We have two mega fans of the song, both Patreon supporters. Tomer Feiner is calling in from Israel to talk about how he first heard the song and what it means to him. Then we have Paul Muehlbach, a German listener and a first-timer on the show! Both are young Kate fans who love this song almost as much as our host, who has much to say about what this song means to her.

In this episode, we talk about the song’s subject: Peter Reich. Peter’s father was the famous psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich and the subject of a random book Kate picked up in the 70s, A Book of Dreams. We discuss how his relationship with his father was the basis for this song (and the mystery behind lines like “you’re like my yo-yo that glowed in the dark”) and what Peter thought of Kate’s song. We also talk about how it did on the charts, the video, and what this song means to us.

Are you ready to go cloudbusting? We hope so!

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!

Book excerpts included:

A Book of Dreams – The Book That Inspired Kate Bush’s Hit Song ‘Cloudbusting’

Song clips included:

Cloudbusting (album version)

Cloudbusting (The Organon Remix)

Utah Saints – Something Good

Cover band Cloudbusting performing Cloudbusting in Dublin

Cloudbusting (Young Edits remix)

Cloudbusting (orchestral fan-made version)

Charlotte Martin – Cloudbusting

Cloudbusting (Live in 2014)

Interviews used:

Interview on MTV, 1985

BBC Classic Albums: Hounds of Love

Music video/Performances:

Cloudbusting (Official Music Video)

Cloudbusting (live on Italian TV, 1985)

S05E04 – Mother Stands for Comfort

Hounds of Love produced four hit singles, all of them from the first side. The only song not released to radio was Mother Stands for Comfort, the fourth track from Hounds of Love, and an often overlooked song, even by our host.

It’s also one of the most skeletal songs on this album. With only an upright electric bass, broken glass à la Babooshka, some tinkling piano, ghostly backing vocals (of course!), and a rather subdued and low lead vocal, Kate paints a rather creepy story about a mother’s love for a child who’s doing bad things.

To discuss the only Side One song to not be released as a single, Cecilee will be talking with Paul Tate, a friend of the show who was last on the title track episode, and a new guest, Shana Britnall. Paul breaks down the chord progression and the melody to explain why this song sounds so moody and sad, while Shana talks about how this song has changed meaning for her over time and her favorite lyrics and what they mean to her.

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:

Mother Stands for Comfort (album version)

Jane Birkin – Mother Stands for Comfort

Lilie and Akatomie – Mother Stands for Comfort

Interview clips used:

Classic Albums: Hounds of Love, BBC, 1992

S05E03 – The Big Sky

Are you ready to jump and leave with the big sky, honey?

I hope so!

All the folks for this week’s episode certainly are too!

This week, we’re talking about the exuberant third track, and final single, from Hounds of Love, The Big Sky. And what a discussion this has turned out to be! Our two main fans for the episode are Rick Campbell from Canada and Diego Ortega from California. They’re on opposite ends of the continent but one thing they have in common is they love this song! Rick talks about hearing this song for the first time in 1985 and how this song connects to his travels and how it’s grown with him. Diego talks about the lyrics, his declaration that this is an anthem for shy people, and we speculate on why Kate’s songs (especially this one) would be so hard to cover for another musician.

And we haven’t even talked about the music video yet!

In addition to our two main fans, we’ll hear from two other Kate folks who were on the set of the music video for The Big Sky: Keith Pitches, a longtime Kate fan who called in to the show, and Dave Cross, one of the founders of Homeground magazine, who helped to organize that fan meetup and who was in the video too!

It’s a jam-packed episode, just like this 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!

Interview clips used:

Classic Albums: Hounds of Love, 1992

Song clips used and/or mentioned:

The Big Sky (album version)

The Big Sky (special single mix)

The Big Sky (Meteorological Mix)

The Big Sky (Official Music Video)

S05E02 – Hounds of Love

If you thought running up a hill was difficult, try running away from dogs chasing you. Specifically, hounds of love.

Get ready for some more running as we go into a discussion of the third single from the Hounds of Love album, the energetic title track. To discuss this song this week, we have two megafans on the line: Craig Houston from Ohio and Paul Tate from Georgia. Both fans have fascinating insights and history with this week’s song! Craig talks about hearing this song and being blown away the first time he ever heard it and seeing it performed for Before the Dawn. Paul, a composer and pianist, is new to the show and offers his musical expertise to the discussion. With Paul, we dig into Kate’s use of loops, how those drums were created, pentatonic scales, and rhythm to create something different from traditional songwriting.

Much to discuss! Then afterwards, we can rest for a bit and take our shoes off before leaving with the big sky next week!

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!

Interview clips used:

Kate Bush and Lee Aaron on Good Rockin’ Tonight, CBC, 1985

Classic Albums: Hounds of Love, BBC, 1992

Kate Bush Under Review

Song clips used:

Hounds of Love (album version)

Hounds of Love (alternative)

Hounds of Love (Before the Dawn)

Ra Ra Riot – Hounds of Live (live 4/28/10, Turner Hall, Milwaukee, WI)

The Futureheads – Hounds of Love

Music video:

Hounds of Love (Official Music Video)

S05E01 – Running Up That Hill

The year is 1985. And all over the radio in the last summer is the first bit of new music from Kate in a very long time. Three years, to be exact. Not only is it something new but it’s the first single for a new album!

Running Up That Hill turns out to be not just the biggest hit single Kate has had in years. It’s also the beginning of a media frenzy for Kate as she begins to promote this song and her upcoming album. She’s everywhere in a way she hasn’t been since maybe the beginning of her career. She even ventures to America, where this song becomes, to date, her only top 40 hit.

To discuss this monster of a hit song, we have a young Kate fan on the line who was on the There Goes a Tenner episode. Diego Ortega considers this song one of his favorite Kate songs. Like our host, Running Up That Hill was his gateway to the rest of Kate’s music. With Diego, Cecilee discusses the amazing production and how one sample from the Fairlight was manipulated in three different ways to build the song. Diego and Cecilee also talk about Kate’s live performances, including the use of Running Up That Hill in the 2012 London Olympics closing ceremony. They also talk about the distinctive music video and their own favorite lyrics.

Ready to go running? We hope so!

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!

Interview clips used:

Kate Bush Nightflight interview (unedited)

Kate Bush on Good Rockin’ Tonight, 1985

Radio 1 Classic Album Interview – Hounds of Love, 1992

Song clips used:

Running Up That Hill (album version)

Running Up That Hill (2012 version)

Videos mentioned:

Running Up That Hill (live at the 2012 London Olympics Closing Ceremony)

Running Up That Hill live on Wogan

Running Up That Hill (live in 1987 with David Gilmour)

Big Boi’s Favorite Verse: Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill”

Running Up That Hill Official Music Video