Kate Bush, whose “Running Up That Hill” is the true star of Stranger Things’ fourth season, has given a rare radio interview about the song and her love of the show. The chat with BBC Radio 4’s Emma Barnett, on Woman’s Hour, follows Bush’s flurry of statements about her resurgent 1985 single, which climbed to No. 1 in the UK and hit the U.S. top 10 for the first time.
“It’s such a great series, I thought that the track would get some attention,” Bush said of the Stranger Things placement. “But I just never imagined that it would be anything like this. It’s so exciting. But it’s quite shocking really, isn’t it? I mean, the whole world’s gone mad.” She added, “What’s really wonderful, I think. is this is a whole new audience who, in a lot of cases, have never heard of me and I love that. The thought of all these really young people hearing the song for the first time and discovering it is… well, I think it’s very special.”
While the song has no fixed meaning, Bush wrote it about “the idea of a man and a woman swapping with each other. Just to feel what it was like, from the other side.” She originally titled it “A Deal With God,” and says she still prefers that title. “I think [the record company] were just worried,” she explained, “that it wouldn’t get played on the radio. That people would feel it was a sensitive title.”
Bush commended the way that Stranger Things creators the Duffer Brothers used the song, as a recurring source of escape for the tomboy character Max. “I think they’ve put it in a really special place,” she said. “I was already familiar with the series. And I thought, what a lovely way for the song to be used in such a positive way. You know, as a kind of Talisman for Max. I think it’s very touching.”
Elsewhere, Bush said that, despite some nostalgia for the 1980s, she finds modern life “incredibly exciting”: “It’s an awful time on a lot of levels for people, very difficult,” she said. “But it’s also a time when incredible things are happening. Technology is progressing at this incredible rate. That’s pretty overwhelming, really. But, you know, there’s so many advances in medicine and there are positive things. You just have to look a bit harder to find them at the moment.” That does not extend to watching TikTok, however. “It sounds ridiculous,” she said with a laugh.
Yesterday, a trailer was released for volume two of Stranger Things’ fourth season. It was soundtracked by a version of the show’s theme spliced with “Running Up That Hill.”