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More interviews with Kate plus album news round-up

So close to Christmas now and we’ve been busy getting ready – so a few 50 Words For Snow news items have been piling up that we need to tell you about. We’ll have a full round-up of the many mentions of Kate’s 2011 albums (feels so amazing to be able to type that) in year-end polls very soon. Firstly massive thanks to Brian Cloughley for yet-another seasonal banner for the site – thanks Brian! Kate did an Italian radio interview on Radio Monte Carlo on the 19th December. You can hear the interview below (many thanks to Isabelle, Louise and Tom). Look out for a new interview with Kate on Seattle radio station KEXP soon – conducted by Kurt B Reighley. Kurt has tweeted: “3 hours later and STILL a bundle of nerves from 2day’s interview w Kate Bush… she laughs a lot and has a lovely sense of humor.”

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See a clip below from “The Jo Whiley Music Show” on Sky Arts 1 on 16th December.  The show featured a piece about the new album, as well as a discussion from Annie Lennox, Tim Minchin and Aloe Blacc. Also at the end of the Youtube clip below you’ll see mention of Kate’s album on the BBC 2 Review Show, also from 16th December in that programme’s review of the year.

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Another interview with Kate has appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia here. Anti- Records, Kate’s new US label has been promoting the album with the following video package of review quotes:

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Listen to Kate’s interview this evening with Larry Flick on US radio

With big thanks to Louise and Tom for providing the clip:

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New 50 Words For Snow illustration commissioned for Prog Rock Magazine

Artist Danny Allison writes at Creative Match: “This illustration was a commison for Prog Rock magazine for an illustration to accompany an album review for Kate Bush’s new album 50 Words For Snow” This illustration appears in the current edition of the magazine. More of Danny’s work at his site here. (thanks Louise)

Prog Rock Magazine illustration by Danny Allison

Three more radio interviews with Kate!

Jamie Cullum

Three new interviews to listen out for: This evening Kate’s interview with Jamie Cullum was finally played on BBC Radio 2. This was a different interview segment from the one with Jamie that was broadcast on Dutch Radio last month (52 minutes long – listen here). This evening’s interview is a 20 minute segment. From the BBC website: “Jamie conducts a rare interview with Kate Bush, as the British singer-songwriter, musician and record producer talks about the jazz she loves. Kate also tells the story behind Misty, a track on her new album 50 Words For Snow. The two musicians discuss the complex time signatures within Misty and compare them to Take Five by Dave Brubeck, before chatting about their different approaches to composition, and their mutual love of Billie Holliday and Steely Dan.” Listen again to the new interview segment here. (outside the UK? listen here.)

On this coming Thursday 8th December, Kate does an American radio interview with Larry Flick on Sirius XM OutQ Radio, 12pm-4pm UK/Ireland Time (7am Eastern Time USA/GMT-5 hours.) You can listen live here (note that this radio station requires a free signup for 7 day trial, which just needs an email address).

Mark RadcliffeDJ Mark Radcliffe in the UK announced today that he is going to see Kate tomorrow and the resulting interview will be broadcast part 1 on Monday 12th December and part 2 on Tuesday 13th December on BBC Radio 6Music (the show is 1pm to 4pm, the interviews are usually on at 2.30pm). See programme listings at the BBC Radio 6Music site here and here. (big thanks to Louise for heads up on these interviews)

Two new European interviews – but only one with Kate…

A new interview with Kate to promote the new album has appeared in Gaffa Magazine in Denmark, see here and here (translation here and here). A second interview doesn’t feature Kate – rather it’s an interview with the presenter of Bios Bahnhof, the German show where Kate made her first ever TV appearance (see clip below!). Interview here, translation here. (thanks Louise)

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“Hooray!” Kate says a “huge thank you” to everyone on the chart success of 50 Words For Snow!

From Kate’s official site this evening:

A thank you from Kate

From Kate… I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has embraced  ’50 Words For Snow’ with such warmth and positivity. I am totally blown away by the response to the album and am so delighted with the chart position of No 5 today. Hooray!

Thanks to everyone who has contributed:  Del Palmer for all his really great work throughout the recording process and his input during the mixing. To Stephen Tayler for his invaluable work on the mixes and to Stanley Gabriel who assisted us. To all the wonderful musicians especially Steve Gadd for the incredible feel he has brought to the whole piece, to Danny for his beautiful guitars, to dearest Bertie for his fantastic performance and for all his enthusiasm, to Jonathan Tunick for his gorgeous orchestrations and to John Giblin, Danny Thompson and all the guests who have brought their special energies into the music. To everyone on the team who have done such a terrific job and most of all to all of you who take it into your homes and your hearts and make me feel so privileged to have my work received with such love.

Many thanks,
Kate x

Kate enters UK album chart at no.5

We can confirm that 50 Words For Snow has charted in the UK official album charts at no 5, as announced on BBC Radio 1, this is Kate’s 10th top 5 album, out of 11 releases.

As long time HomeGround reader Paul Thomas has pointed out, “this makes her the only female artist to have top 5 albums across 5 decades..70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and this new decade (whatever this decade is called..) – I am very proud to be a fan and so pleased she is still makimg exceptional music – and she hasn’t done any tv to promote the album; the record sales are down to her loyal fanbase and her reputation as the best and most original female artist of all time..shall I stop banging on about her now??

Big congratulations to Kate, Del and everyone else involved.

Dave, Krys, Peter and Seán. xxxx

Congratulations to Kate!

UPDATE: We hear that 50 Words has entered the German charts at #7, Netherlands Album chart at no. 10, and the Norweigen album chart at no. 18, Ireland at no.12, Belgium at no.27, Australia at no. 22 and Finland at no. 11. The album has entered the Billboard charts in the US at number 83 (and a number 7 entry in the US Independent album chart). More as we get them.

“A brilliant and warm ode to the season upon us”: The Alternative Review

4 stars from Mathew French at The Alternative Review:

it strains the limits of belief to think that she’s still able after all of these years to churn out material worthy of note, let alone albums that challenge her heyday masterpieces. But lo and behold: 50 Words For Snow is just as focused, creative, and emotionally conscious as her best albums … Bush just refuses to fall victim to age. At 54 years old her vocals sound a bit burly, taking on a much deeper tone than that of her older wails, but they only helps to service 50 Words For Snow in a positive way. Her voice is very sentimental and comforting here, almost as if she’s singing to us from inside a log cabin in the middle of a dead, cold night — clad in warm garments with a woollen cover draped over her by the fire as she recalls tales of love and loss. … Forsaking grandiosity in favor of snow-inflected landscapes, 50 Words For Snow is essentially Bush’s provocation for wintry surrealism. The songs have a slow, meditative tempo and revolve (mostly) around crisp piano, Bush’s warm vocals, and delicate percussion. More than anything though, 50 Words For Snow works well as something minimal; unlike other releases, Bush really fixates on the inclusion of negative space to make way for drafty ambiance. These songs aren’t aimless in their approach though: they sometimes burst into small sections of unadulterated bliss – just enough to satisfy a craving for emotional fulfilment...”

“A haunting beauty which sends chills down the spine”: The Manc Review

Donna Gorey at the Manc Review:

an album, whose narrative singing and enchanting concept, creates post-modernistic storytelling, reaffirming Kate as an original and experimental artist … a classic album, which nurtures the perpetual willo-the wisp spirit of Kate. Although it takes a few listens to completely appreciate the album, it thinks outside the box, containing a haunting beauty which sends chills down the spine. Its picturesque music, whose orchestral and stripped down acoustics, glide effortlessly across an intense, emotional backdrop. Like snow, on a hillside, “50 Words For Snow”, melts subtly revealing a lush core at its own organic pace.”

“The loveliest work of Kate’s sparse but uncompromising career”: Dirty Impound

Album of the week from Ron Hart at Dirty Impound:

Though the album title sounds like something conjured up by a cocaine-obsessed rapper like Young Jeezy or Ghostface Killah for his next mixtape banger, it serves as a fitting description for the thematic direction of Kate’s label debut on the Anti- imprint. These seven epic compositions explore the sensual tundra of winter’s effects on the heart, mind and loins … There are indeed no words to truly describe the enchanting pulchritude of 50 Words for Snow, except for hailing it as the loveliest work of Kate’s sparse but uncompromising career.”

“Everything that’s lost can return in imagination”: Toronto Globe and Mail

3/4 and ‘Disc of the Week’ from Robert Everett-Green in the Toronto Globe and Mail:

mundane personal experience has never been a big subject for Bush, who prefers situations where her imagination can run without stumbling over too much imposed reality. And why not? Shakespeare had no first-hand knowledge of Venice, Kafka never travelled to America and Jules Verne did not visit the moon. Someone else in her shoes might have made the snow and ice a backdrop for romantic scenarios … Bush prefers to engage with the stuff itself … Bush isn’t playing for laughs. She’s going for the big dead-of-night realization, that comes when the world’s asleep and everything that’s lost can return in imagination, close but unreachable … Bush’s music emulates a jazz piano trio at 3 a.m., without the jazz. It’s reflective and spacious … a few recurring cadences on her piano might have been imported from Arvo Part’s austere religious music. Most of the album has a hushed, night-world feeling to it … But her characteristic soprano yowl is hardly evident on this disc. To really like 50 Words for Snow, you’ve got to be keen on records that just simmer along, and that build a case through time and repetition. I find Bush’s repeated piano tunelets weak fuel for a song of eight or nine minutes, but I respect what she does otherwise, the guts and the focus and – sometimes – the lean beauty of it.”

“A perfect isle of seclusion”: The Tune

4/5 from Alex Hall at The Tune:

For an artist who has recorded for over 30 years, simply staying relevant is no slight feat. For Kate Bush relevancy is not an issue, because 50 Words for Snow molds her body of work just as effectively as some of her great ’80s albums. … and while she plays with the concept more subtly in some songs it is still always present. Snow is what unites this album when it threatens to dismantle itself … 50 Words for Snow finds the measure of its success in how well it can sustain that atmosphere … my appreciation of the album had less to do with the songwriting and more to do with its artistic situation. The listener cannot always be enveloped in a perfect world of falling snow, but for the times when nature would seem to beckon him to imagine it … this record transports him completely. The contrast between Bush’s dark, rich vocals and virginal snow is immense. To emphasize it more these recordings include young, high-range male voices, including Bush’s son Albert, who sings with the beauty only something as transitory as snow could represent … Piano dominates this album, which not only makes it a more gentle work but also helps Bush extend her “art rock” persona to jazz and classical music … That’s another thing: none of these tracks could exist by themselves, both because of the similarity of their content and their length. It’s a treat when an artist releases something so cohesive, because the listener’s only option is to sit down with the record and play it from top to bottom … In my mind 50 Words for Snow was an imagined concert after a long spell of looking out my window to see snow depopulating the streets and sidewalks … Something like this is so perfect now, because an album about snow translates well when there’s actual snow around. In passing time, when months get warmer and drier, I fear that this record may not mean as much. However, it could be that whatever the weather, 50 Words for Snow stands a perfect isle of seclusion, where one can always retreat to when the air gets too sticky or the music too loud.”

“It nails the theme”: Retro/Active

7/10 from Dan Retro/Active:

an interesting album. On one hand, there’s isn’t anything that blows you away, but for what it is aiming for, to be an album in the backdrop of snow, it nails the theme. But it’s also not the most exciting album, with a lack of contrast, and if you’re looking for a pop hit, I don’t know of any that clock over 6 minutes besides Bohemian Rhapsody. The album is solid though, and pleasant nonetheless.”

The forecast: Watch out for a blizzard of eiderfalls

Warren Clements in the Toronto Globe and Mail considers Kate’s wordplay on her new album:

How people describe snow – printable, unprintable – depends on how they view its arrival. They may turn for inspiration to singer-composer Kate Bush’s latest CD,50 Words for Snow, in which she offers 50 words for snow (including “snow”), apparently alluding to the ever-shifting assertion that the Inuit have 50 words for snow, or 100, or 140. But she devises her own words, which, as she told Jian Ghomeshi this week on CBC Radio’s Q, she asked actor Stephen Fry to recite in his mellifluous voice so they might carry an air of authority ….”

“Pretty songs can’t make up for long-winded weirdness”: Newsday

Steve Knopper at Newsday:

a song about getting it on with a snowman … one of several jarring, unpredictable moments on veteran British singer-songwriter and pop experimentalist Kate Bush’s second album of 2011 … Frequently the spacey piano arrangements, stately backup choir and Elton John cameo … give these seven long songs a certain ethereal beauty. But the album contains too many interminable clunkers, like the repetitive eight-minute title track…”

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