S05E13 – Under the Ivy

Strange Phenomena: The Music of Kate Bush
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

S05E09 – Watching You Without Me

Strange Phenomena: The Music of Kate Bush
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

S03E03 – Blow Away (For Bill)

Strange Phenomena: The Music of Kate Bush
S03E03 - Blow Away (For Bill)


One of the band told us last night that we’d be coming out with a new episode of Strange Phenomena this week! In this episode, we get to fly away with the third track from Never For EverBlow Away (For Bill). This week, Cecilee is joined by Alex Dale, a writer from London who considers this song to be one of his favorite pieces of music ever.

In this episode, Cecilee and Alex discuss the song at length, from its inspiration (the death of Bill Duffield, the lighting engineer for Kate’s tour) to its intriguing musical structure and arrangement, to the leaked piano demo showing different lyrics and the exclusion of a third verse that hadn’t been written yet. Cecilee and Alex also discuss the deceased rock stars mentioned in the song, what it means to “put out the light,” their own personal histories with the song and how this song grew on both of them!

We promise not to thump you!

Song clips used:

Blow Away (For Bill) demo version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_Vcpk2sMsk