We are All Running Up that Hill

Newsletter editor Rachel here.

If you have had Kate Bush’s song “Running Up That Hill” running laps around your head in the last few weeks, you are in good company. 

Since the song was featured in the latest season of Stranger Things, 350 million other people around the world have tuned in on Spotify. If you haven’t fallen down this specific rabbit hole on Tiktok yet, it’s definitely worth losing an hour or two checking out what creative interpretations are surfacing online.

Her song is smashing records 37 years after it was released –which is amazing all on its own– but, I am much more interested in the artist herself (which may have to do more with the fact that I have listened to it on repeat for the last 2 weeks and have to channel my obsession elsewhere).

Kate was “discovered” when she was 16. But, unlike so many female pop artists who get snapped up by record labels who then own their music forever (sorry, Taylor) and then end up being a puppet of the label, Kate took the advance from EMI records and then spent two years taking mime training and interpretive dance lessons. 

Just in case you missed that: she took their money and took miming classes

And that’s just the beginning.

When she finally got around to making music on her own terms, she wrote her own lyrics, didn’t back down when her *unique* dance techniques were criticized and she was the first woman to have a UK number one with a self-penned song.

In a field that is so frustratingly mired in sexism, where rising talent gets molded into the image of some gross old dude’s idea of what female creativity should look, act, and sing like– Kate flipped them the proverbial bird and stuck to her own path. 

And she was a sensation. Then she went off the radar for 35 years. 

So yes. I am crushing on this nutty mime dancing, leotard-wearing, pop-star hermit who peeked out from retirement to wave at all of us while we sing “I’d make a deal with gaawwwd!” until our partner makes us leave the house.

Because she is one of the few creative stars who don’t get funneled into this version of what men think female creativity looks like. She’s raw. She’s bizarre. Her voice is wild. And she does whatever the hell she wants. 

She represents what music can sound like when it’s created authentically.