Platinum award-winning Welsh songstress Donna Lewis and producer, arranger, mixer and engineer David Baron have teamed up again on ‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)’ their own rendition of the original by Kate Bush released 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.
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. The single received airplay from BBC Radio Wales’ Adam Walton and Janice Long, and press support from tmrw Magazine and XS Noize. This follows on from the successful release of Baron’s previous track ‘People of No Concern’ (feat. Lettie & Madeleine.)
Baron has worked with 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, Michael Jackson and Gregory Gonzales (Cigarettes After Sex) He has seen press support from Rolling Stone, Billboard, Earmilk, Consequence of Sound, Harper’s Bazaar, The Line of Best Fit and airplay from BBC 6 Music’s Nemone and BBC Radio 3’s Nick Luscombe. Television appearances include NBC San Diego, and working alongside Glassnote Records with Jade Bird for her performances on Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert and BBC Radio 1s Live Lounge.
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 (A 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 (A Deal With God)’ is a rhetorical question, lovingly wrapped in Donna Lewis’s irresistible vocals. Speaking of the track Donna Lewis notes: 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 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. It is in this yearning that a truth is revealed by Kate Bush – it is up to us to try to understand each other.”