Kate Bush releases single And Dream of Sheep and new live recording Before The Dawn

WHILE we wonder why an artist revisits a pretty much perfect, and perfectly weird song, And Dream of Sheep, in its first incarnation as part of  1985’s Hounds of Love, Kate Bush’s slightly deeper timbre changes the tone of the original from sort of accessing her spirit animal, while inconveniently drowning, to one of shivering – pondering on a sink or swim scenario.

btd-water-mic Beyond the DawnKate Bush pictured in her performance Beyond the Dawn

But only wonder a bit, because she is Kate Bush – a walking interpretive dancing, non-stop concept record in beautiful human form. Always one for a well-thought out visual, this one has her turning gently blue in a tank of water, orange life-jacket framing her heart-shaped face. To this version she lends a sort of resigned, but stark delivery of lyrics that suggest dying quickly might be preferable to freezing (indeed, she suffered from hypothermia during the shoot).  Sweetly melancholic and pure in melody, the song has indeed improved with age and experience.

The Shipping Forecast that lulls many of us to sleep or wakes us up is channeled here, in the song’s sleepy-eyed half-awake, half dreaming trance; floating somewhere between slumber and wakefulness. You can listen to it hundreds of times and come up with a different interpretation each listen, but it is always haunting and darkly beautiful.

by Michele Kirsch

The new live version of And Dream Of Sheep is now available as a CD, download or vinyl LP from here
The live album Before The Dawn which captures the whole of Kate Bush’s 22 sold-out nights at London’s Hammersmith Apollo in 2014, over three CDs and four vinyl LPs is released this Friday, November 25.

 

About The Author

Michele Kirsch

Glass Online culture and arts writer

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