On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
The Knife – Heartbeats (2002)
” 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 (2003) and re-released on 4 October 2004.
We bring an end to our time in 2002, dear reader. To finish we leave the US and make our way across the Atlantic and to Europe. Once we hit the mainland we make our way to Sweden. Formed in 1999 by siblings – Karin and Olof Dreijer – The Knife were an experimental duo who dabbled in electronica and synthpop. When we join them in 2002 the duo are working on their second album, Deep Cuts, and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track, Heartbeats.
In Heartbeats, The Knife appear to be tackling the subject of either first love or the early experience of love with someone at the start of a relationship. Karin takes the vocals here and her voice evokes some striking imagery around the uncertainty and sensual feelings that come through intimacy. The latter half of the song seems to suggest there being something wrong about this union. Could this be infidelity we are dealing with or is this someone who is quite introverted and struggling to connect with another?
Heartbeats has both a synth and dance beat to it while Karin’s vocals here blend smoothly into the music performed by her brother. Heartbeats and Deep Cuts would be critically acclaimed upon release and the duo’s star never looked like it would wane. Valuing their privacy to the extent of not attending awards ceremonies the duo disbanded in 2014 after completing a tour for their final album, Shaking the Habitual, which was once again critically acclaimed.
Favourite songs so far: