The extremely late triumph of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” is the most heartwarming musical story of the year. Thanks to its full placement in the new season of stranger things, the 1985 track became the 63-year-old’s first US Top 10 hit last month, and part of its continued resonance has to do with its thematic malleability. Bush wrote the song about the difficult interpersonal dynamics of a romantic couple, how two people could finally understand each other if they could only switch places. In stranger things, the meaning changes to suit Sadie Sink’s character, Max, who piggybacks the sentiment on her tragic relationship with her late half-brother Billy. A vintage live performance of the song that was recently remastered and uploaded to the official channel of Bush’s YouTube account offers yet another interpretation.
In the clip, which was filmed for the BBC show Wogan around the original release of the song, Bush stands behind a desk and gesticulates like the most elegant politician imaginable. What look like battle flags flutter behind her, alongside solemn men beating marching drums. In this iteration, Bush appears to be playing the role of a leader rallying his troops – and as I watched the video in between to learn the revelations from the January 6 hearings, I couldn’t help but draw some mentally ties up as she sings “building” with her hand raised high. It gives the song another timeless dimension, with Bush playing the deceitful leader pushing his minions forward. –Ryan Dombal
Savor the happily queer soundtrack of fire island
As Eric Torres wrote in a listening journal interview with fire island Joel Kim Booster: fire islandThe soundtrack of is closely in tune with the eclectic music that crosses contemporary queer spaces, from Charli XCX to Perfume Genius to Donna Summer. In one of the best scenes, Howie leads the band in a cheery karaoke performance of Britney Spears’ 1999 hit “sometimesa moment that slyly draws the film’s central love stories while nodding to a pop icon. Booster even enlisted one of his favorite current bands, queer pop trio MUNA, to record a robyn shimmering blanket of this Britney classic for the movie.