Platinum award-winning Welsh songstress Donna Lewis and producer, arranger, mixer and engineer David Baron have teamed up again on ‘Running Up That Hill (Deal With God)’ their own rendition of the original by Kate Bush slated for release on 30 August via Here and Now Recordings.
Donna Lewis, who co-wrote and performs the vocals to the track, needs no introduction. Her hit ‘I Love You, Always Forever’ racked up over 60 million Youtube plays, and over 58 million Spotify streams, featured extensively on MTV, reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart and ultimately reached platinum status. Lewis’ second album, Blue Planet (1998), spawned two hits including ‘Love Him,’ which topped the Billboard dance charts.She worked with producer Trevor Horne on The Art of Noise’s The Seduction of Claude Debussy and again on the film Anastasia, a duet with Richard Marx for ‘At the Beginning’. This reached number two on the US Adult Contemporary chart. Her collaboration with progressive house duo Project 46 & DubVision ‘You and I’ on Spinnin’ Records reached Top 5 on the Beatport chart. Lewis also featured in the film ‘Anastasia’ in a duo with Richard Marx for ‘At the Beginning’. This reached number two on the US Adult Contemporary chart.
The pair have whipped up a storm with their previous release ‘Bad Bad Love’ (feat. Donna Lewis)’ which premiered on Clash Magazine, and received a personal mention from The Lumineers’ Jeremy Fraites, with the birth of his son. New York-born David Baron released ‘People of No Concern’ (feat. Lettie & Madeleine) prior to this and has an extensive list of credentials including work alongside The Lumineers, Lenny Kravitz, Peter Murphy (Bauhaus), Simone Felice, Shawn Mendes, Meghan Trainor, Melanie De Biasio, Bat For Lashes, Jade Bird, Vance Joy, Matt Maeson, Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers and Michael Jackson. He has been featured by the likes of Rolling Stone, Billboard, Earmilk, Consequence of Sound, Harper’s Bazaar, The Line of Best Fit, NBC San Diego and CNN Heroes and received radio airplay from BBC 6 Music’s Nemone and BBC Radio 3’s Nick Luscombe. He also mixed and performed on The Lumineers upcoming 2019 album, as well as mix a new song with them for the Game Of Thrones soundtrack.
Baron has arranged strings and programmed synths on Lenny Kravitz’s last 6 albums and performed ‘Here To Love’ live alongside him on the CNN Heroes show, as well as playing the piano on the recording for the track. He provided synths, programming, production and mixing to Bat For Lashes’ ‘The Bride’ which was shortlisted for a Mercury Music Prize in 2016 alongside David Bowie and Radiohead. He produced and co-wrote Peter Murphy’s (Bauhaus) single ‘Ninth’ as well as fellow Woodstock artist Simone Felice’s ‘Strangers’ and performed on The Lumineers’ #1 Billboard Album ‘Cleopatra’.
He worked alongside Glassnote Records with Jade Bird for her performances on Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert and BBC Radio 1s Live Lounge, as well as recording and producing her tracks ‘Uh Huh’ and ‘Lottery.’ He mixed and mastered Melanie De Biasio’s ‘Blackened Cities’ – which was Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards Track of The Year 2017, voted in alongside Frank Ocean, Solange and Kaytranada. He arranged and conducted strings for Shawn Mendes on ‘Bad Reputation’ and played piano, organ and saxophone alongside songwriter Kevin Kadish on Meghan Trainor’s ‘All About That Bass’ – one of the biggest selling singles of all time. He’s scoring the soundtrack for Gregory Colbert’s follow up to Ashes And Snow. This venture sees him working alongside Patrick Watson, lead vocal on The Cinematic Orchestra’s ‘To Build A Home’ plus Sophie Hunger, Melanie De Biasio, Gregory Gonzales (Cigarettes After Sex) and Lisa Fischer.
Baron cites a wide array of influences – from Samuel Barber’s Adagio, to Max Richter, Zero 7, Ólafur Arnalds, Jóhann Jóhannsson, and The Cinematic Orchestra. On ‘Running Up That Hill (Deal With God)’ Baron and Lewis put their own idiosyncratic voice on the original track by Kate Bush. While at once nostalgic, the change in direction suffuses the track with a string quintet and modular synthesizers. Both poignant and expressive, ‘Running Up That Hill (Deal With God)’ addresses themes of human relationships – love, conflict, reconciliation and understanding. Drawing parallels to the orchestral tones of Ólafur Arnalds, with vocals that are reminiscent of Susanne Sundfør, Running Up That Hill (Deal With God)’ is a rhetorical question, lovingly wrapped in Donna Lewis’s irresistible vocals.
Listen to ‘Running Up That Hill’ – BELOW:
Speaking of the track Donna Lewis notes: “I’ve been a huge Kate Bush fan for years so when David suggested we record a cover of Running Up That Hill with just strings and vocals I was all in! The powerful lyrics always got me thinking: what if we could swap roles with other people? What if we were to walk in someone else’s shoes? If we could, perhaps we would find a lot more compassion for each other. David and I wanted to give Running Up That Hill a uniqueness that the song deserves. Starting out with a stark piano vocal performance, David then wrote a string and synth arrangement around the vocals to create a beautiful balance of simplicity and complexity.”
Baron explains: “‘Running Up That Hill’ has one of the most meaningful lyrics: “There’s so much hate for the ones we love”. It is a stark reality for many who are in troubled relationships. We just do not understand each other. The bittersweet plea to God to swap places is perfectly sung by Donna Lewis. The string quintet, modular synthesizers, and vocals morph between sweet and strident, sonorous and dissonant. There is never a true resolution, only a musical ladder that is climbed without ever reaching the top. You can see the clouds – but you can not touch them. The wish can not be granted musically or otherwise. It is in this yearning that a truth is revealed by Kate Bush – it is up to us to try to understand each other.”
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