Over 1.3 million babies are born each year with congenital heart disease. Making it the most common birth defect in the world. Despite that fact, it’s an issue with very low general awareness. In the fall of 2020, The Swedish Heartchild Foundation (Hjärtebarnsfonden) wanted to raise awareness for the issue and drive donations.
“Heartbeats” is an iconic song by electronic music duo the Knife. In our new version, the song, performed by indie band Amason, is powered by a one-year-old´s defected heartbeat, sampled in a studio using a wireless Bluetooth stethoscope.
The samples were mastered to function as the beat in the song and were overlayed with evocative soundscapes. While the original lyrics are a tale about lovers’ passion, here they are given new meaning. Lines like ”One night to push and scream” become about childbirth, ”The colors red and blue” about ambulance sirens and religious or not, the line ”Asking for help from above, to lean on, wouldn’t be good enough” sends a clear message – these children need your help.
Filmed in black-and-white, the non-linear action takes place at a crossroads. Chest scarred from CHD surgery, a boy dances madly in the street as scenes of his tumultuous young life flash around him, creating a visual poem that ripples with his parent’s fear, anxiety, and hope. In the end, he drops to the ground as his young heart simply can’t dance anymore.
The song was made the centerpiece of an integrated campaign launching on WHO’s International World Heart Day. Released on major music platforms and every time someone listens revenue goes to the foundation.