***Stranger Things Season Four: Volume One spoilers ahead***
“…be running up that road, be running up that hill…” If you’ve been feverishly humming those words from the 1985 Kate Bush classic after watching Stranger Things’ unmissable, mind-boggling Season Four, you’re not alone.
The nostalgic ’80s horror-thriller hit returned after a two year hiatus last month to air what is arguably a perfect season of television – Season Four: Volume One had it all! From the introduction to ‘Vecna’, one of the scariest villains to ever grace our screens – and the spine-tingling clock chime that accompanies his presence – to the massive season finale twist that revealed Vecna’s origins (as well as Eleven’s), viewers simply could not get enough of Stranger Things.
But of course, what makes Strangers Things so darn good is its nostalgic and accurate throwback to the 1980s, which music centres as a focal point of really the whole series. Each season thus far, there has been a classic ’80s song reignited into today’s mainstream. Season one had ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ by The Clash; season two was ‘Time After Time’ by Cyndi Lauper; season three played ‘Never Ending Story’, and now, season four has brought with it the revival of yet another classic hit in the way of ‘Running Up That Hill’ by Kate Bush.
Simply put, Kate Bush is the sound of Stranger Things, Season Four.
The dramatic song features in episode four, “Dear Billy”, as Max (Sadie Sink) is being viciously hunted by the evil Vecna in the Upside Down. Max, who is cursed by Vecna and awaiting her inevitable (gruesome) death, escapes the clinches of Vecna by listening to her favourite song – Running Up That Hill – which plays out in a very emotional, climatic and nail-biting scene that is one of the best moments of the entire series.
The revival of ‘Running Up That Hill’ thanks to Stranger Things has not only ushered in a new generation of listeners, but the song itself has since regained unprecedented popularity, taking the number one spot on the US iTunes charts, as well as reaching the Top 10 singles charts in the UK, and in Australia, it’s set to overtake Harry Styles’ ‘As it Was’ as the number one single.
In a post shared to her website, Kate Bush praised the Netflix series for the newfound appreciation and support.
“You might’ve heard that the first part of the fantastic, gripping new series of ‘Stranger Things’ has recently been released on Netflix,” Bush wrote.
“It features the song, ‘Running Up That Hill’ which is being given a whole new lease of life by the young fans who love the show – I love it too! Because of this, ‘Running Up That Hill’ is charting around the world and has entered the UK chart at No. 8. It’s all really exciting!”
While the Netflix series has become renowned for its accurate depiction of the era through the use of music nostalgia, we haven’t seen the proliferation of a classic hit blow up like this before. And TikTok, coupled with the series’ wide-reach success among a younger demographic, is 100 per cent responsible.
It would be remiss of us not to mention TikTok’s influence on the songs popularity and presence, which has now become a viral hit on the social media platform (and beyond). A thirty-second version of the Stranger Things clip has been posted (and reposted) on TikTok since the episode first aired over a week ago, with Bush’s song been used in over 500,000 TikTok videos and counting.
It begs the question: will future films and TV series bank on the virality of TikTok to promote their respective work, and perhaps make clips more ‘TikTokable’? Absolutely! #StrangerThings hashtag has amassed over 41 billion views on TikTok alone, reaching new audiences in unprecedented ways.
Stranger Things Season Four: Volume Two will be released on Netflix July 1.