Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God),” from her landmark 1985 album Hounds of Love, is the type of song that can’t be celebrated enough, a triumph that imagines man and woman trading places and plays out an emotional spectrum from love to lust to pain. It’s also a great fit for Wye Oak, a male-female duo who moved from sumptuously wafting guitar haze to cloudbursting synth-pop on new album Shriek.
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The Baltimore team of singer-bassist Jenn Wasner and drummer-keyboardist Andy Stack has covered Bush’s classic for A.V. Club, and the results are as a thrilling as you’d hope, a lean, passionate reading: two people, intimate yet with a larger-than-life intensity. Pay attention for the subtleties, like the way Wasner unleashes waves of gnarled distortion as they tear into the “come on, angel” bridge.
“So this song has been one of my favorite songs for a really long time,” Wasner says. “She just sort of insisted that the world engage with her on her terms and refused to compromise on that point. And as a woman and artist and human being, I just really admire that about her a lot.”
Check out SPIN’s recent interview with Wye Oak.