Hear Wye Oak Cover Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” Circa 2014Photo by Jade Wilson Music News Wye Oak
The unlikeliest smash-hit song of 2022, Kate Bush’s 1985 Hounds of Love lead single “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” was good long before Stranger Things said so. Just ask Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack, who covered the track live for The AV Club’s Undercover back in 2014—a rendition that Merge Records has now rescued from the live web performance series’ “vanishing archives” and released on streaming services, nearly a decade after the fact.
Wye Oak’s take on “Running Up That Hill” is shadowy and slowed, maxing out the moodiness and discord. The duo made five appearances on Undercover, the most of any artist, covering The Kinks’ “Strangers” in 2010, Danzig’s “Mother” and Brenda Lee’s “Christmas Will Be Just Another Lonely Day” in 2011, and Pat Benatar’s “We Belong” in 2016. (Wasner also covered Gillian Welch and Crowded House for the series with her Flock of Dimes project, alongside Sylvan Esso, in 2015.)
Listen to Wye Oak’s 2014 take on “Running Up That Hill” below, and revisit their 2010 performance in the Paste office further down.