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"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.

Single by the Knife
from the album Deep Cuts
Released27 December 2002 (original release)
4 October 2004 (re-release)
the Knife singles chronology
"You Take My Breath Away"

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.[3]


Critical receptionEdit

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 stated the song had "clever synth beats and Björkesque vocals" with the ability to "instil some fun and nostalgia into music."[4][5] said that the song was "perhaps one of the most hypnotic and haunting electronic songs of recent times, [...] innately infectious from the outset."[6] Several reviews commented that the song had a 1980s feel.[4][5]

Track listingsEdit

  • 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)[7] 26
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[8] 119

José González versionEdit

Single by José González
from the album Veneer
ReleasedJanuary 2006
FormatCD, digital download
GenreAcoustic, indie folk
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 classical guitar.[2] The song peaked at number nine on the UK Singles Chart.

Usage in mediaEdit

González's version was used in a Sony Bravia advertisement[9] 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 part of the soundtrack of the British horror film Donkey Punch as well as Everything, Everything, and was heard in S1 E3 "Every Last Minute" of New Amsterdam as well as on Superstore in Season 3, Episode 19 when Jonah (Ben Feldman) teaches Amy (America Ferrera) golf.



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[18] Gold 30,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[19] Gold 400,000 

^shipments figures based on certification alone
 sales+streaming figures based on certification alone


  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. ISBN 0789320894.
  3. ^ Gallucci, Nicole. "The one song TV shows always use to make us cry". Mashable. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  4. ^ a b Kutchinsky, Serena. "The Knife - Heartbeats (Rabid)". MusicOMH. Retrieved 2008-09-15.
  5. ^ a b Tomlinson, Katherine. "The Knife - Heartbeats - Single Review". Retrieved 2008-09-15.
  6. ^ "The Knife - Heartbeats (Live)". 2007-06-13. Retrieved 2008-09-15.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ " – The Knife – Heartbeats". Singles Top 100.
  8. ^ "Chart Log UK : Alex K – Kyuss". Zobbel. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  9. ^ "Sony Bravia commercial". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-10-10.
  10. ^ " – José González – Heartbeats". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  11. ^ " – José González – Heartbeats" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  12. ^ " – José González – Heartbeats" (in French). Ultratip.
  13. ^ " – José González – Heartbeats" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  14. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  15. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  16. ^ "Official Independent Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company.
  17. ^ "End of Year Singles Chart Top 100 - 2006". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  18. ^ "Danish single certifications – José González – Heartbeats". IFPI Denmark. Scroll through the page-list below until year 2016 to obtain certification.
  19. ^ "British single certifications – José González – Heartbeats". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Heartbeats in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.