Heartbeat Song

Album: Piece by Piece (2015)
Charted: 7 21
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • The lead single from Piece by Piece, this was the first new non-holiday music released by Kelly Clarkson since her June 2013 standalone single "Tie It Up." During her musical hiatus, the singer got married and gave birth to her first child River Rose. The song finds Clarkson reassuring people that a breakup is not the end of the world and things will get better:

    This is my heartbeat song and I'm gonna play it
    Been so long, I forgot how to turn it
    Up, up, up all night long


    Clarkson explained to Radio.com: "The loss of hope and love [after getting dumped], that's a very sad time in people's lives. But then to have that renewed faith come back, and bumping into someone at the coffee shop or wherever, and then a whole new life can spring from that, that's inspiring."
  • The song finds Clarkson re-teaming with Greg Kurstin, the Californian producer, who helmed the singer's multi-platinum single "What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)."
  • The song was co-written by by Oklahoma singer-songwriter Audra Mae, who also penned Miranda Lambert's "Little Red Wagon" single. She told ET Online how the track came together in the studio.

    "I wrote the song with Mitch Allan, Kara DioGuardi and Jason Evigan, and they are totally seasoned wonderful writers, I was done a big favor by being put in the room with them," she said. "The process was really fun, it was a two-day session and Kara, she gets inspiration like being struck by lightning. She literally jumped off the couch in the studio and she stood right up and just started singing the hook: 'This is my heartbeat song and I'm gonna play it!' And I went 'Oh my god, that's so great!' It was really cool. It can be a challenge when no one's inspired, so it's always great when someone gets a great idea."
  • Clarkson used her baby's heartbeat as the actual beat of the track. Speaking with Elvis Duran on the Z100 Morning Show, she revealed the song's beat is. "River's heartbeat slowed down from when she was in my tummy!... We put it out there and then thought people are going to think I'm a coke addict! It's supposed to be really, really fast, but we slowed it down a bit."
  • Other examples of a heartbeat being used in a song's mix include:

    Muse vocalist Matt Bellamy recorded his baby son Bingham's heartbeat on an iPhone just before he was born. He then used the sample at the beginning of his band's ode to fatherhood "Follow Me."

    Brazilian heavy metal band Sepultura's 1993 Chaos AD album opens with the heartbeat of frontman Max Cavalera's first son Zyon.

    A heartbeat is one of of the sound effects that can be heard on Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon opener "Speak To Me." When the main instrumentation ends during the closing track "Eclipse," the same heartbeat is repeated and gradually fades to silence.

    The rhythm of the Mark Ronson & Katy B track "Anywhere In The World" incorporates the heartbeat of an Olympian runner.

    Prince's then-wife Mayte Garcia was pregnant with his son, Boy Gregory, during the recording of his 1996 song "Sex in the Summer." He used the heartbeat from the baby's ultrasound as part of the percussion. Tragically, Boy Gregory died from a rare skull disease called Pfeiffer's syndrome a week after he was born.
  • Several critics noted the strong resemblance the song's melody bore to that of Jimmy Eat World's 2001 single "The Middle." Speaking to Rolling Stone, Clarkson denied plagiarizing Jimmy Eat World. "I didn't write the song, I just sang it. But I didn't catch that. Nobody behind the scenes did," she said.

    "What's funny is that I was a huge fan of that Jimmy Eat World album! We actually thought our song sounded like The Postal Service – that was our big concern," Clarkson continued. "I thought it was really cool of Jimmy Eat World to say, 'Hey, no harm, no foul.' There are only so many chords."

Comments: 1

  • Bethany Ellis from Knoxville, TnI love that song
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Classic Metal

Classic MetalFact or Fiction

Ozzy, Guns N' Roses, Judas Priest and even Michael Bolton show up in this Classic Metal quiz.

Chris Squire of Yes

Chris Squire of YesSongwriter Interviews

One of the most dynamic bass player/songwriters of his time, Chris is the only member of Yes who has been with the band since they formed in 1968.

Goodbye, Hello: Ten Farewell Tour Fake-Outs

Goodbye, Hello: Ten Farewell Tour Fake-OutsSong Writing

The 10 biggest "retirement tours" that didn't take.

Francesca Battistelli

Francesca BattistelliSongwriter Interviews

The 2011 Artist of the Year at the Dove Awards isn't your typical gospel diva, and she thinks that's a good thing.

Stand By Me: The Perfect Song-Movie Combination

Stand By Me: The Perfect Song-Movie CombinationSong Writing

In 1986, a Stephen King novella was made into a movie, with a classic song serving as title, soundtrack and tone.

Tommy James

Tommy JamesSongwriter Interviews

"Mony Mony," "Crimson and Clover," "Draggin' The Line"... the hits kept coming for Tommy James, and in a plot line fit for a movie, his record company was controlled by the mafia.