The latest news about the musician Kate Bush and her work

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Interview with Alison Stewart in the Washington Post

Freelance writer Alison Stewart telephone interview with Kate appears in today’s Washington Post:

In the ’70s and ’80s Bush released a series of dreamy, sexy art-folk albums credited with influencing PJ Harvey, Fiona Apple, Bjork and just about any significant female artist of the past 30 years. She was tough, uncompromising and fiercely private, though never what anyone would call prolific. Bush has released only 10 studio albums in three decades, two of them in 2011: “Director’s Cut,” which features re-recorded and re-invented versions of her classic songs, and the new “50 Words for Snow,” a strange and beautiful disc of thematically linked songs about winter. Bush lives in the English countryside with her husband and her 13-year-old son, Bertie, an occasional contributor to her albums. On the phone from home, she’s funny and solicitous and sweet, more like the British equivalent of a soccer mom than a Bronte character come to life …

“Only Kate Bush could get away with this”: Chicago Tribune

3/4 Curiously from Greg Kot music critic of the Chicago Tribune, and another one who isn’t so sure about Sir Elton or Mr. Fry:

Since the late ‘70s, Bush has been the sole occupant of her little corner of the art-rock world, her lush songs merging stately musicianship and fairy-dust vocals with forward-looking electronic textures. Her lyrics have moved from storybook flights populated with unicorns and demons to more mature expressions of femininity and feminism. Though her commercial successes have been few, Bush exudes a fierce independence as a songwriter-singer-musician-producer and influenced countless artists … She doesn’t focus on accolades or celebrity, but undiluted self-expression. True to form, “50 Words for Snow” floats in its own enchanted cloud, a song cycle for subzero shut-ins. Each song tosses another blanket atop a feather bed, another log on a fire, a series of stories to send the imagination drifting as winter closes in … Bush is the rare vocalist with huge range … who somehow manages to sound strikingly intimate rather than brassy or overpowering. She’s also a fine pianist who never overplays, sending out little ripples of notes that act like reassuring beacons, a necessity for songs that sometimes wander past 13 minutes. She also uses keyboards to create shimmering effects that suggest distant, flickering lights…”

“Quietly beautiful”: Daily Telegraph

Five Stars from Helen Brown in the Daily Telegraph:

50 Words for Snow should be heard standing alone at icy window panes, gazing out. Its seven long, snow-themed songs swirl around a delicate core of Bush and her piano … dreamy, drifting mood and subtle melodic motifs …”

“Tinkles, drifts and groans in thematic vignettes”: West Australian

4 stars from Michael Dwyer in the West Australian. Another one who doesn’t like Sir Elton:

the subtlest album of her sparse catalogue … the avalanche part of an album that tinkles, drifts and groans in thematic vignettes which hang heavy with esoteric promise while skating around narrative … Like watching snow fall, the effect is hypnotic and inexplicably profound.  Bush’s piano style – full, resonant, uncluttered – is the backbone of the album. Its deep, commanding tone matches the mature register of her voice, still wondrously elastic but smokier … overall, what seems a whimsical conceit delivers a transporting exploration of the most wistful season of the soul, and clear progress for an artist who has learnt to choose words carefully“.

“A proper artist”: Daily Express

5/5 from Simon Gage in the Daily Express:

From the beautiful, poetic low-key first track Snowflake, you can expect to take a typically eccentric journey through a snowy landscape that only Kate could come up with. The tracks are long, the guests unexpected … and there’s certainly nothing to sing along to in the car but we’re talking about a proper artist here. With a beautifully done Elton duet as a highlight, this is strange, simple and quite lovely.”

“Odd, beautiful, and quite unlike anything else”: The Times

Four stars from Will Hodgkinson in The Times (behind the paywall):

50 Words For Snow goes beyond good taste, because it is as intriguing and eccentric as it is restrained … Through an artistic process Bush is bringing us up close to a deep aspect of her life, while also capturing the childlike wonder of falling snow. The mood throughout the album is stark and, although it’s a word that gets applied to Kate Bush rather too much, ethereal. There’s a sense that the natural world is home to the mysterious beings that crop up in folklore and fairy tales … Ultimately you have to ask: would 50 Words For Snow stand up, away from the cult of Kate Bush? Yes, because it is odd, beautiful, and quite unlike anything else out there.”

Kate interviewed by Andy Gill in the Independent and gives five star review

Andy Gill, whom we remember from the inkie era way back when, interviews Kate for the Independent:

I have a theory that there are still parts of our mental worlds that are still based around the age of between five and eight, and we just kind of pretend to be grown-up,” she explains. “I think our essence is there in a much more powerful way when we’re children, and if you’re lucky enough to be treated reasonably well, and can hang onto who you are, you do have that at your core for the rest of your life. I guess that’s what I meant, really: it’s not that I actually think of myself as a little girl, but she is right in my core.

Andy Gill also gives the album a five star review:

the individual tracks seeming to coalesce gently, like snow gathering in drifts: most consist of simple, unhurried piano parts, underscored by ambient synth pads, strings, and occasionally a touch of jazzy reeds, or Oriental-sounding twang. The result is a lush, immersive work which is sonically more homogeneous than her earlier albums, reflecting the conceptual solidity of its wintry theme, in which fantastical, mythic narratives are allowed to take shape under the cover of its snowy blanket…


“Extraordinary business as usual”: The Guardian

Five star very happy review from Alexis Petrides at The Guardian:

Guardian review

There are many peculiar things about Kate Bush’s 50 Words for Snow. If it’s not strictly speaking a Christmas album, it’s certainly a seasonal one, and the seasonal album is these days more associated with Justin Bieber than critically acclaimed singer-songwriters following their own wildly idiosyncratic path. It devotes nearly 14 impossibly beautiful minutes to Misty, a song on which Bush imagines first building a snowman and then, well, humping him, with predictably unhappy consequences … For all the subtle beauty of the orchestrations, there’s an organic, live feel, the sense of musicians huddled together in a room, not something that’s happened on a Bush album before. That aside, 50 Words for Snow is extraordinary business as usual for Bush, meaning it’s packed with the kind of ideas you can’t imagine anyone else in rock having. Taking notions that look entirely daft on paper and rendering them into astonishing music is very much Bush’s signature move. There’s something utterly inscrutable and unknowable about how she does it that has nothing to do with her famous aversion to publicity.

New interview in Finland’s Helsingin Sanomat ‘Nyt’ magazine

A new Finnish interview with Kate comes out tomorrow, featuring Kate on the cover of Nyt magazine. It’s the weekly magazine supplement that comes with every Friday edition of the biggest Finnish newspaper – Helsingin Sanomat. (with thanks to Pekka)

Kate in Nyt Magazine Finland



First Reactions to the Album News

50 Words For SnowA new Kate album is an event …

BBC | BBC AmericaSky News |

| The Press Association | The Guardian 2 | The Guardian 1Daily Mirror | Irish Times | Metro | Huffington Post |

| Rolling Stone | NME |

| Gigwise | HecklerSpray | PasteMagazine | CMU | The Morton Report | PopDust | ClashMusic | NewsQuod | Politics and Computers |

Australian newspaper article – possible new album news?

The Sydney Star Observer has ran an interview with the company chair of EMI Music Australia, Mark Poston. Towards the end of the piece, it is mentioned that Poston anticipates a new Kate Bush album in the second half of 2011. From the article:

“Of course, you can never be sure with Kate Bush. She does things at her own pace,” Poston said with more than a little understatement. “But we’ve been told to prepare for a November release.”

The full article is here. This could of course be the most fantastic news of the year, a brand new album so soon after Director’s Cut, but please remember this is not an official statement and over the years we have had many false starts and dates and EMI in London have told us they have no Kate news at the moment. Rumours are only that until Kate and/or EMI makes an announcement, which of course we will bring as soon as we can.

Kate’s only tour

The Guardian seems to be on a roll Kate-wise. Also on Friday a slide show from the 1979 tour and an interview with two people who took part.

Top Ten Reasons to Love Kate Bush

From Daiana Feuer in todays’s LA Weekly:

“Kate Bush is one of the most important female musicians of all time. As an innovator and producer of her own sound, she’s sort of like the female Prince. It’s about the unitard. It’s about her googly eyeballs and interpretative dance moves, her music videos, and her way with a synthesizer. It’s about this 5 foot 3 woman standing up to the music industry and her refusal to let anyone make her be sexier than she wanted to be–which was plenty sexy as long as it was on her own terms. Bush’s ninth studio album, Director’s Cut, debuted today at #2 in the UK. It’s a re-imagining of some songs from 1989’s The Sensual World and 1993’s Red Shoes, and it’s a good opportunity to revisit her legacy. Here are The Top 10 Reasons To Love Kate Bush ...”

Director’s Cut: Italian media round-up!

Antonello has sent us a round-up of reports and mentions for Kate’s new album that have been surfacing in Italy. They are mostly very receptive of Kate’s latest work, though a couple of them just report the official Fish People statement that was out before its release. One surprising happening has been what Antonello calls an exquisite review from the official site of the Catholic Church! Read it here. (thanks Antonello!)

Kate as Marion in a scene from Director's Cut album artwork

Der Spiegel interviews “Grandmaster” Kate

Der Spiegel

The German weekly interviews the person they call “Pop Grandmaster Kate Bush” Read it here.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Do you know that you are revered by hip-hop titans like 2Pac, Wu-Tang Clan or Dr. Dre and many others?

Bush: I am aware of that, and I cannot do much more than to say I find it surprising and incredibly cool.

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