The Stranger Things Season 4 is the talk of the town which is giving 80’s vibes from the outfits to the song tracks that are being used in the series. Thanks to the Duffer Brothers’ show’s fourth season, this generation got to know about Kate Bush’s classic song “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” which was the unofficial song of Memorial Day weekend, storming to the top of the Apple Music chart in the U.S. and reaching the top 10 in 34 countries.
Though this music played a key role in Max’s arc, the Stranger Things music supervisor revealed the reason through which Kate Bush agreed to let her music be used in the fourth season.
Why does Music Play a Key Role In Stranger Things 4?
In the series, music helps in the battle against a new villain, Vecna from the Upside Down. The villain targets people who have suffered some sort of trauma by infiltrating their minds and brutally killing them. At first, there was no escape but our Hawkins teens heroes discover that music therapy can free the victims from Vecna’s trance before he can destroy them.
This theory proves when Max is targeted by Vecna who is lured into the villain’s trap with visions of Billy. She got saved as her friends blasted her favourite song “Running Up That Hill (Deal with God)” by Kate Bush through her headphones to wake her up.
Why Music Supervisor Chose Kate Bush’s Song For The Max’s Arc?
The music supervisor of the series, Nora Felder in an interview with Variety told that executive producers Duffer brothers assigned her to brainstorm a song that resonated with the experiences Max was going through.
“Consequently, each of the prospective song placements in the initial scripts was tagged with the placeholder, ‘TBD Max song.’ From there, I made an effort to internally align myself with what the Duffers felt were the most important elements needed and my intuitive grasp of Max’s complex feelings.”
Felder further told that “Running Up That Hill,” immediately struck her, ” “It immediately struck me with its deep chords of the possible connection to Max’s emotional struggles and took on more significance as Bush’s song marinated in my conscious awareness.”
She further told that Duffer Brothers’ agreed to that song but the challenge was to convince Kate Bush to allow the show to use her music.
“I sat with my clearance coordinator, and laid out all the scripted scenes for the song uses that we knew of at that point. Knowing the challenges, we proceeded to create elaborate scene descriptions that provided as much context as possible so that Kate and her camp would have a full understanding of the uses. … When we finished, we were on edge, but excited and hopeful.”
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Sony Music Publishing executive Wende Crowley explained further about the permission regarding usage of Bush’s song in the series, “Kate Bush is selective when it comes to licensing her music and because of that, we made sure to get script pages and footage for her to review so she could see exactly how the song would be used.”
That being said, Bush supported the idea as it turned out that Kate Bush was already a Stranger Things fan and granted her permission to use her song.
Felder explained why this particular song resonates with Max’s emotions.
“Kate Bush’s lyrics can mean very different things to different people. In the face of Max’s painful isolation and alienation from others, a ‘deal with god’ could heart-wrenchingly reflect Max’s implicit belief that only a miracle of unlikely understanding and show of support could help her climb the hills of life before her. In Max’s situation, the need for a ‘deal with god’ can perhaps be metaphorically understood as a desperate cry for love to manifest the extraordinary understanding and support Max needed while feeling so painfully alone.”