In the past, Kate Bush fans have become accustomed to waiting patiently between albums. This, after all, is a woman who didn’t release an album between 1993’s The Red Shoes and 2005’s Aerial, so she could devote herself to family life and bringing up her son, Bertie. Yet less than six months after her last work, Director’s Cut, Bush has announced the details of a new album, 50 Words For Snow.
Unlike Director’s Cut, which saw Bush reinterpreting past songs from her back catalogue, Bush’s 10th album will consist of seven new songs with a running time of 65 minutes. It will be released on her own label, Fish People, on 21 November.
Intriguingly, a press statement for the album said the seven songs will be “set against a background of falling snow” – whereas the cover is an image moulded in snow that depicts a girl kissing a snowman. The song titles, including Snowflake and Snowed in at Wheeler Street, suggest she has returned to the “concept” approach used on one CD of the double album Aerial, and on the Ninth Wave, the B-side of Hounds of Love. This year, Bush admitted she found the time it took her to release an album “extremely stressful”. She told the BBC: “It’s very frustrating the albums take as long as they do. I wish there weren’t such big gaps between them.”
Bush shot to fame in 1978 when her debut single, Wuthering Heights, reached No 1 in the UK singles charts. She was 19 at the time. Since then she has received a constant stream of critical acclaim, with many critics citing her 1985 album, Hounds of Love, as a masterpiece.
Even so, fans had all but given up hope of hearing fresh material before she returned in 2005 with Aerial. Now they will be hoping Bush continues to be as prolific and maintains arguably the most productive phase of her career since the early 80s.
Tim Jonze, The Guardian