5 Deep Cuts from Kate Bush That You Should Be Listening To

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

For not having put out any new material in quite some time, Kate Bush has had a surprisingly excellent year. As anyone who doesn’t live under a rock knows, Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” found a renewed success thanks to season 4 of Netflix’s Stranger Things.

The synch saw her clinch the top spot on the charts nearly 40 years after the song’s original release. The Bush renaissance has been going strong since the series release in May and it shows no sign of stopping soon.

As the singer celebrates her 64th birthday, let’s take a look back at some lesser-known Bush tracks from her career. Whether you’re an OG Bush fan or are just now finding your footing, these songs should be added to your rotation.

1. “L’Amour Looks Something Like You” (from The Kick Inside – 1978)

From the debut album that gave fans “Wuthering Heights” and “The Man with the Child in His Eyes,” comes this melodic, sensual tale. “L’Amour Look Something Like You” first rose to prominence when it was one of four tracks featured on Bush’s On Stage EP—peaking at number 10 on the U.K. charts.

It has since fallen by the wayside in favor of the Emily Brontë-inspired standout from the record. While the exploding chorus of “Wuthering Heights” is enough to bring anyone over to Bush’s side, “L’Amour” is a strong show of her bold lyricism and lilting vocals. It’s a transporting track with those keen Bush visuals fans know and love.

I’m dressed in lace, sailing down a black reverie / My heart is thrown to the pebbles and the boatmen / All the time, I find I’m living in that evening / With that feeling of sticky love inside, she sings.

2. “In The Warm Room” (from Lionheart – 1978)

From her earliest work as a musician, Bush was never one to shy away from talking about her sexuality. The Kick Inside had “Feel It” and “L’Amour Looks Good on You” to stir things up, but it was her second album that saw Bush turn the dial of desire up to eleven.

“The Warm Room” bares a lot of the sensual heft of Lionheart. The track saw Bush singing about a lustful encounter in intimate detail, She’ll let you watch her undress / go places where your fingers long to linger, she sings. It’s Bush at her most erotic.

3. “Big Stripey Lie” (from The Red Shoes – 1993)

As the B-side to the slightly overlong “Rubberband Girl,” “Big Stripey Lie” was one of two tracks from her album The Red Shoes that fans got to listen to before it was released.

If “Rubberband Girl” left the listener somewhat anxious about what was to come from Bush’s seventh studio album, “Big Stripey Lie” was a reassuringly textured piece of distorted guitar. Bush is credited with playing bass and guitar on the track while Nigel Kennedy got out his violin for a haunting string line. The experimental track is a shining moment on one of the relatively underperforming albums of Bush’s career.

4. “Leave It Open” (from The Dreaming – 1982)

“Leave It Open” holds all the facets that make The Dreaming such a great record—it’s haunting, it’s experimental, it’s rousing.

The song sees Bush hold a heated conversation with herself about man’s ability for evil. It opens up with a deep-voiced Bush singing the line, with my ego in my gut, my babbling mouth would wash it up, which earns a high-pitched retort, but now I’ve started learning how, I keep it shut. A third perspective —in the form of an ominous chorus of voices—then chimes in singing, harm in us but power to arm.

The song is the epitome of Bush’s ability to broaden the scope of her music, revealing some deep truths.

5. “Hello Earth” (from Hounds Of Love – 1985)

Hounds of Love was home to Bush’s surprise 2022 hit, “Running Up That Hill.” While the song is working its magic, bringing a whole new generation of fans to Bush, there are some other songs from the record that could use a little more love.

“Hello Earth” is Bush at the very height of her powers. Typical of Bush’s ambitions at the time, she was not content with a pretty piano ballad with a heartbreaking vocal to convey a sense of distance and detachment. Instead, she wanted a break in the song which would contain an exploding chorus of chanting.

Working with composer Michael Berkeley, Bush created her own language and developed phrasing for a group of male singers to put into the song. Their inclusion is a testament to the keen detail and commitment that has long made Hounds of Love a considered masterpiece.

Photo: ‘Hounds of Love’ Album Cover

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