Season 4 of Stranger Things came out in 2 volumes, in May & July 2022 and people are addressing it as the best stranger things season ever. Be its visual effects, soundtracks, acting, storyline, or any other prospect, Stranger Things never fails to amaze its audience.
3 months after its release, it is still trending on Netflix due to its massive fan following all over the world. In the latest season, we witnessed Vecna or 001, or Henry victimizing the people of Hawkins by paralyzing them and making them suffer. Vecna believes that he is helping the world by wiping out humans, as a "predator, but for good".
When Vecna asks for El to join him, it's because he also sees her as a predator, "better" than humans. He offers her his path as a sort of freedom, as they reshaped the world in their image. Vecna targets emotionally or physically damaged people who will find it hard to resist if Vecna tries to go into their minds.
He targeted Chrissy Cunningham, Fred (Nancy's colleague), and Patrick by paralyzing their bodies. Vecna chose Max to be his fourth victim and Max starts to see a big grandpa clock and hears the clock's tick-tock.
Being Vecna's biological father, Victor Creel revealed that he saved himself by holding onto his favorite song "Music can reach to even those places where normal thinking can't go". So Nancy and Robin tell the guys to place Max's Walkman in her ear and Lucas plays her favorite song - "Running up that hill" by Kate Bush.
"Running up that hill" reaches into Max's mind and triggers her memories with El, Lucas and her other friends. Max escaped from Vecna's world (upside down). She finds an opening and jumps back into the real world.
It was just her mind under Vecna's control but her body was already in the real world itself. Max managed to prevent Vecna from "corrupting and occupying" her whole mind and hence for the time being, escaped from his trap.
As someone from the audience, according to me, This scene was very impactful as a die-hard fan of the show. This was one of the best seasons of the whole series. This impact was more powerful because of Kate Bush's "Running up that hill".
This song was used on multiple occasions in season 4. It was the perfect choice to be Max's favorite song. Set in the 1980s the song perfectly matched with the whole Stranger Things vibe.
After season four of Stranger Things debuted, “Running Up That Hill” climbed back up to the top of the charts, quickly hitting number one on iTunes and according to Spotify, people heard it 9900% more as compared to previous play records..
The song was also used in the finale episodes (volume 2) of the show which was released a month later (July 1) on Netflix. The song's passionate version was used while Nancy, Steve, and Robin managed to break the hive mind and Eleven managed to kill Vecna temporarily while Hopper killed the Demo-Dog in the Russian prison. The scene was impactful and the main reason was the scene dynamics matching "Running up that hill".
Nora Felder, the long-time music supervisor who's been with Stranger Things since the beginning, said that she needed something that would really be a young teen’s favorite song in 1986, but would also express Max’s sense of isolation and depression after the violent death of her brother, Billy.
The song really needed to resonate with Max’s experience and amplify her need for strength and support at that time. When she heard "Running up that hill", she immediately felt a surge of excitement and sent the song to the Duffer Brothers who approved it.
The song was originally released on Kate's critically acclaimed album, "Hounds of Love", considered to be her masterpiece. “Running Up That Hill”, was the record’s crown jewel, a massively popular lead single that inspired covers and would eventually become Bush’s best-known track.
Bush specifically wrote it about an imaginary man and woman making a deal with God to swap places in order to understand one another’s point of view and strengthen their relationship.
So, This is the reason why Kate Bush was actually the Savior of Stranger Things Season 4. Kate Bush's song added the much-needed extra "zest" to the show while matching the show's actual vibe and describing Max's condition perfectly. The crew's decision of selecting this song to be the face of the latest season was probably one of the best choices ever made.