Lush – “Desire Lines”

Lush – “Desire Lines”

While I knew that Lush released “Hypocrite” as the first single from their third record Split – a barnburner of a track, it got radio play in those days when bands like Lush got played on the radio – I did not know that they released a second video and single that same day, May 30, 1994, for “Desire Lines” – a slow and hypnotic song that clocked in at over seven-and-a-half minutes and was the opposite of “Hypocrite” in every way… Which I suppose was the point.

A demo version of the song appeared on The 13 Year Itch, a compilation celebrating the 13th anniversary of their label, 4AD; it was available on YouTube last night but is now gone… but is also on all streaming services so maybe check it out there. In either case, I can’t imagine it’s the demo Emma Anderson was referring to in this 1994 interview on

Has anything sounded great on the four-track and then not made it with the whole band?

It’s funny, actually, because Miki’s ones are really really perfect – mixed well, and sound good – but my ones tend to sound terrible. I quite like that because when we do it in the studio it sounds great, but sometimes Miki says, “Oh, it’s not as nice as the four-track…” You should have heard “Desire Lines” on my four-track, it was *terrible*…! As long as the others can learn their parts, that’s all I care about really.

Must have sounded really different with the strings on the album. Whose idea was that?

Well, Ivo suggested it when we played the demos. He loves strings, and it was quite obvious that it really suited some of the songs. It was good because Mike Hedges had worked with strings a lot in the past, and he had the idea of bringing in two arrangers for different songs.

Was it exciting to hear those parts added?

Well, it was actually quite weird, because they take the song away and write the part on keyboards. They bring a tape back and you sit there and it’s like, “My God…” I think “Desire Lines”, especially, was really weird. There were quite dissonant notes and you ask, well, is this all right? It sounds terrible… but after I heard it a few times I thought actually, this is really good. It is weird when someone adds things to something you write and it changes the mood of it.

Lush: Emma Anderson interviewed @

And just because, the same song performed in sessions for KCRW during the band’s short-lived reunion in 2016.

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