Song of the Week: “Watching You Without Me” by Kate Bush

I think this song might have been a “Phil Collins moment” for Kate Bush—the sultry reverb and drumbeat certainly recalls two of Phil’s biggest slow jams, “In the Air Tonight” and “This Might Be love.” But it evokes Peter Gabriel too, one of her closest collaborators. The background chorus at the end seems to suggest that he was on her mind. And of course Genesis—Peter and Phil together—is in there, too. Anyway, don’t let this confluence of prog turn you off (maybe it doesn’t?); she makes it work. In fact, I love how much this song stands at an intersection of influences, of potential directions: while it has the quirky emotionality of The Kick Inside and The Dreaming, it also looks forward to the eerier, electronic melancholy of This Sensual World, especially “Deeper Understanding.” And who can’t like a song like this, with its raw, even Proustian longing for another who’s both there and not there. “Watching You Without Me” is about the frictional realities that emerge in the matrix of unreciprocated desire, the conditions that set you in relation to someone you can’t stand not to be in relation to. OK, we’ve all been there before. Kate’s been there, too.

-Andrew Durbin

Andrew Durbin co-edits O’clock Press and its journal, CLOCK. His work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in Antennae, InDigest, >kill author, Spiral Orb, Washington Square, and elsewhere. He blogs at He lives in New York.

Questions, compliments, (hopefully not) complaints?  Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.

see all songs of the week here.