Video Finds: José González Performs an Acoustic Version of The Knife’s “Heartbeats”

This video is perhaps the most famous example of the acoustic mastery of one José González.

A Swede originally born in Argentina, González has a fascinating musical back-story.

Originally a fan of Bob Marley and Michael Jackson, by his teens González had become enamored with hardcore punk.

During the ‘90s, Gonzalez played in Gothenburg, Sweden hardcore bands Back Against the Wall and Renascence.

As the years went by though, González began to look for other avenues through which he could explore his obvious talent. He soon recognized that he had quite the aptitude for classical guitar playing, and began writing songs and playing in that style. Soon enough, he developed his unique playing style, which he flaunted on his debut single, “Crosses.”

After “Crosses” got him signed to the brand-new label Imperial Records, González’s career began to grow in earnest. However, it was “Heartbeats,” the song in the video here, that truly made González a burgeoning star.

An absolutely gorgeous acoustic interpretation of the equally amazing electro-pop song by fellow Swedes The Knife, “Heartbeats” is simply a masterpiece. You can see in the video how effortless González’s playing is.

“Heartbeats” can be found on his debut album Veneer, an album rich with great acoustic playing. Other highlights on the album include the aforementioned “Crosses,” “Deadweight On Velveteen” and “Stay In the Shade.”

If you’re looking for some ultra-mellow acoustic singer/songwriter type stuff to soundtrack your day, you really can’t go wrong with either Veneer, or González’s other album, In Our Nature.

Find out more at

Jackson Maxwell is a freshman at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is double majoring in history and journalism. He is an editorial assistant at the Massachusetts Daily Collegian and has his own music blog entitled "Broken Drums." You can follow him here at or

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.