Kate Bush has built a long, lush career out of being an enigma, and her latest video fits right into her eccentric wheelhouse.
The reclusive singer spent three days floating in a water tank at England’s Pinewood Studios to get the visuals right for her Titanic-y video for “And Dream of Sheep.” Wearing a life jacket and bobbing on her back in murky water, Bush sings the gentle ballad from her landmark fifth studio album, 1985’s Hounds of Love, in a reworked live vocal take that will appear on an upcoming box set, Kate Bush and the K Fellowship: Before the Dawn (Nov. 25).
“The vocal was performed live while filming Kate lying in the huge water tank at Pinewood Studios,” reads a note on the singer’s site about the video shot before Bush’s 22-date sold-out run of 2014 shows, which marked her first live shows in more than three decades. “This was to create a sense of realism, as the character in the song is lost at sea. However it became more realistic than Kate had imagined. She spent so long in the water during the first day of filming that she contracted mild hypothermia. She recovered after a day off and carried on filming. Everyone agreed it had added to the authenticity of the performance. This film was then projected onto a large oval screen which hung above the stage during the performances of her live show.”
In her first interview in five years, Bush also opened up to BBC Radio 6 about those 2014 shows, her notorious reputation as a recluse and her work with Prince, to whom she wrote a loving tribute earlier this year. “He was adorable. He was really playful and really sweet,” she said. “What a talented man, what an artist. I think it’s a terrible loss that he should go at such a young age, it’s incredibly sad. He was so prolific. He used to make me laugh because whilst I was working on an album, he would have done two world tours, a couple of albums, a film…” Sadly, she said, there are no unreleased songs the pair created sitting in the vaults.
The two artists worked together on various occasions. Prince appeared on Bush’s “Why Should I Love You” from 1993’s The Red Shoes. Bush returned the favor, contributing vocals for Prince’s 1996 album Emancipation. Prince also name-checked Bush in the liner notes for his 1991 album Diamonds and Pearls.
Asked if the divisive state of the world, especially in the UK and U.S., has inspired her to write new material, Bush said, simply, “no,” noting that she hasn’t written a new song in ages. “I think it’s just a big comma,” she said of the latest long pause in her songwriting. As for her “reclusive” tag, well, Bush has a simple answer for that.
“People really like to put things into boxes and pigeonhole people,” she said. “I suppose that tag kind of hung around for a long time when I wasn’t making albums, or between albums. I can think of a lot worse things to be called. And how can somebody who’s a reclusive get up in front of 3,000-4,000 people and do all of those shows? I’m not a reclusive, but that just seems to be something that makes people feel comfortable to call me that.”
Click here to listen to the full interview.