Heartbeats (song)

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Single by The Knife
from the album Deep Cuts
Released 27 December 2002 (original release)
4 October 2004 (re-release)
Format CD, 12"
Recorded 2002
Genre Synthpop, electropop, alternative dance
Length 3:51
Label Rabid, V2
Songwriter(s) Karin Dreijer, Olof Dreijer
The Knife singles chronology
"You Take My Breath Away"

"Heartbeats" is a song by Swedish electronic music duo The Knife. It was released in Sweden on 27 December 2002 as the lead single from their second studio album Deep Cuts (2003) and re-released on 4 October 2004.

The song was listed at #15 on Pitchfork Media's top 500 songs of the 2000s and at #87 on Rolling Stone's top 100 songs of the 2000s. In October 2011, NME placed it at number 95 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".[1]

Adjectives used to describe the music were "haunting" and "electro". In Robert Dimery's book 1000 Songs: You Must Hear Before You Die, it was said: "The Stockholm siblings' love of synth pop, minimal beats and electronica create together a moving masterpiece. Singer Karin Dreijer Andersson's hypnotic vocals recall both Björk and Siouxsie Sioux with her icy delivery of magical lines".[2]

The song has been covered by many acts such as José González, Royal Teeth, Scala & Kolacny Brothers and Ellie Goulding.

Critical reception[edit]

The song has received critical acclaim since its release. MusicOMH said that the song's "emotive lyrics merge with forward thinking production to create one of the most exciting electronica releases of the year", and Contactmusic.com stated the song had "clever synth beats and Björkesque vocals" with the ability to "instil some fun and nostalgia into music."[3][4] Gigwise.com said that the song was "perhaps one of the most hypnotic and haunting electronic songs of recent times, [...] innately infectious from the outset."[5] Several reviews commented that the song had an 1980s feel.[3][4]

Track listings[edit]

  • UK CD
  1. "Heartbeats" (original) – 3:53
  2. "Heartbeats (Rex the Dog Remix)" – 6:12
  3. "Heartbeats (The Knife Techno Remix)" – 2:47
  4. "Afraid of You" – 3:48
  • UK 12-inch vinyl
  1. "Heartbeats" (original) – 3:53
  2. "Heartbeats (Style of Eye Remix)" –
  3. "Heartbeats (Rex the Dog Remix)" – 6:12
  4. "Heartbeats (The Knife Techno Remix)" – 2:47


  • Christoffer Berg – mixing
  • Rex the Dog – re-mixing, producer
  • Linus Eklow – re-mixing


Chart (2004-2010) Peak
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[6] 26
UK Singles Chart[7] 119

José González version[edit]

José González - Heartbeats.jpg
Single by José González
from the album Veneer
Released January 2006
Format CD, digital download
Recorded 2003
Genre Acoustic, indie folk
Length 2:40
Label Imperial
Songwriter(s) Karin Dreijer, Olof Dreijer
José González singles chronology

The song was covered by Argentinian-Swedish singer-songwriter José González for his debut studio album Veneer (2003) and released as its lead single in January 2006. In contrast to the electronic, synth-based original, González's cover features only an acoustic guitar.[2] The song peaked at number 9 on the UK Singles Chart.

Usage in media[edit]

González's version was used in a Sony Bravia advertisement[8] and also in several TV shows. The song appears on the third soundtrack of One Tree Hill "The Road Mix" and it was also used in the show's season 4 episode "Some You Give Away", in the Bones episode "The Salt in the Wounds", in a Scrubs episode "My Hard Labor", in Brothers & Sisters, in Covert Affairs, in 90210, in The Blacklist, in This Is Us, and in the 9-1-1 episode "Heartbreaker". It is also a soundtrack of the British horror film Donkey Punch as well as Everything, Everything.



  1. ^ "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years". Nme.Com. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  2. ^ a b The Knife - Heartbeats. 1000 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die. Cassell Illustrated. 19 September 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Kutchinsky, Serena. "The Knife - Heartbeats (Rabid)". MusicOMH. Retrieved 2008-09-15. 
  4. ^ a b Tomlinson, Katherine. "The Knife - Heartbeats - Single Review". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 2008-09-15. 
  5. ^ "The Knife - Heartbeats (Live)". Gigwise.com. 2007-06-13. Retrieved 2008-09-15. [permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – The Knife – Heartbeats". Singles Top 100.
  7. ^ "Chart Log UK : Alex K – Kyuss". Zobbel. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  8. ^ "Sony Bravia commercial". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-10-10. 
  9. ^ "Australian-charts.com – José González – Heartbeats". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  10. ^ "Ultratop.be – José González – Heartbeats" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  11. ^ "Ultratop.be – José González – Heartbeats" (in French). Ultratip.
  12. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – José González – Heartbeats" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  13. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  14. ^ "Official Independent Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company.
  15. ^ "Danish single certifications – José González – Heartbeats". IFPI Denmark.  Click on næste to go to page if certification is from the official website.
  16. ^ "British single certifications – José González – Heartbeats". British Phonographic Industry.  Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Enter Heartbeats in the search field and then press Enter.