I was thinking about something today, that I did in my youth, which my kids will probably never do. They’ll probably never go to a record store and buy an album they’ve never heard a single song on. In this day of Youtube and iTunes previews, why would you?
Something recently made me long to listen to vintage Kate Bush. I discovered Kate Bush, who dropped off the scene entirely in the ’90s, by buying an album on a whim. I was wandering around Montreal with a girl I barely knew. I had just finished exams and she was probably one of the few who was finished too, and was free to wander. We went to a used CD store. If you went right around the start of the month there was the best selection, as many people sold their CDs for rent. I think we went to a vintage store first and maybe I bought a coat. One of us was definitely wearing a old lady coat – the kind of wool knee-length thing that your great-grandma would have worn. I saw that Kate Bush album and something about the red ballet shoes on the cover drew me in.
I’d just had my heart broken, or at least I thought I had. The mixture of joy and melancholy on that album resonated with me that winter. Fifteen years later and I still remember most of the words.
Kate Bush can sound pretty dated with many ’90s tropes, like synthesizer music, or disembodied voices which sound especially unusual in this pared down era. But man, that wavery sensual voice is timeless.