Monday, 30 January 2012

Perfect Tunes

Today I'm recommending three songs from the Swedish brother and sister duo, The Knife.  Their sound is  electro pop, I love the mix of electronic, catchy pop hooks, and strange lyrics.

The first song is Marble House, which can be downloaded free and legal from the amazing Epitonic.  Click   here to download.  Its got a BPM of 89.

The second is Heartbeats, which is their 'hit' song.  It comes in  at a BPM of 176, so close enough for a 180SPM (strides per minute) run.

And finally Girl's night out with a BPM of 180.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Follow Me To The Real Fun

Shake Dog Shake from The Cure is one of my all time favourite songs. The original version has a BPM of 82, but this recent live version from the album Bestival Live 2011 is just enough faster to give it a BPM 90 and so perfect for a 180SPM (stride per minute) run.  The original version of this song is from the album The Top and I remember reading that it was a time that Robert Smith was battling his addition to heroin.  The lyrics are dark, grotesque almost, but I've loved this song for so long, since I was a young teenager, that I can't hear the lyrics with my adult self, they just feel part of me. I listen, I run, I find the real fun and my heart howls.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Bring me to the Fire

In this post I'm recommending When I'm Small by Phantogram.  Using Tap for Beats Per Minute I am getting 92BPM, so just a little fast for a 180 SPM run.  But I just love it, especially the video. The boy and girl that make up Phantogram and both sooo sexy. The girl is on fire, and the boy well lets just say I have a thing for beards... But if you're not convinced check out this picture of them with the boy shaved.

UPDATE 03/02/2012
This track is available for free and legal download on Epitonic :  click here to download it!  Oh and now I have the mp3 I ran it through MixMeister BPM Analyzer and got the BPM at 92.  So its confirmed!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Rhythm Laws

Pray for Rain by Massive Attack has a BPM of 91, so close enough for a 180 SPM run.  I love this song, both the sound and the lyrics.  And I hope they're right that if you obey the rhythm laws you will be ushered into the dreaming.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Nonsense Sound

Here's a cute and strange little pop song, Golden Phone, from Micachu & The Shapes. Its got a 90BPM tempo so perfect for a 180SPM run. I have no idea what its about. I think its a riddle, so if anyone has any idea what the nonsense sound is please post a comment!

Friday, 13 January 2012

6 Free Running Songs for Jan 2012

Before I give you this months list of 6 legally free running songs I wanted to mention some other places to find BPM info to help you build your perfect playlist.  There are a few websites with info about BPM

The first two, I have been using for a long time, but don't have quite enough music that you can really stuff your playlist full, and the songs can be quite old.  The third, has so much that on first glance it made me question whether I shouldn't just quit writing this blog!  

I started this blog because I was spending so much time figuring out good music to run with I thought I may as well put my results out there for anyone else in the same position to benefit from. Even though is really good, I think that my little blog still has a reason to exist, beyond the fact that it is fun for me to write it.  After looking a little more closely on I saw that only about half of the songs I have recommended so far are on, and that they too are kind of weak on very new, or off the mainstream, music.  Another point is that although I didn't check too many songs, I found a fair number of songs where the BPM was wrong.  Anyone can upload BPM info, so accuracy is only as good as the people uploading.  My advice it to double check with a tap for BPM tool before buying any song you find there. Even though the tap for BPM sounds less accurate than getting the mp3 and running it through MixMeister, it is actually a good measure since it is how you are feeling the tempo and how you will move to the music.

UPDATE (27-01-2012) : Sorry I have to update what I wrote about I hadn't tested the upload feature of the site at the time of writing this post. In fact it is not the user that enters the BPM info.  On you add a song by entering in enough info for them to search for the song on iTunes. If they find it and you click on the song, it automatically add this song to the database.  This means any song available on iTunes can be added to  I am not sure why they can't just import all iTunes songs, why the user has to do the uploading (but probably Apple is not exposing the API to do this programmatically).  Exactly how figures out the BPM isn't available but maybe they are using the 30 second sample to calculate the BPM and this might be why I found songs with inaccurate BPM.  But you can also flag songs that you think have the wrong BPM.   So I go from a 4 star to 5 star rating of this site!  It rocks!

So now here's my list of the 6 free songs for January 2012.  These songs are all available on Epitonic for free and legal download.  To download the song, click on the name of the song.  The band name links to wikipedia or another site about the band.  They all are close to 90BPM so work for a 180SPM (strides per minute) run.

1. Eyes Be Closed by Washed Out  89BPM
Beautiful song for running, electronic but melodic, according to Wikipedia the style is Chillwave. It feels very summertime but its so good I couldn't wait to the summer to post this song.  Here are the lyrics to the first verse...
Inside your voice resounds, 
Your thoughts realign
Your words recall to mind
Your short sweet life
Perfect running lyrics, no?

2. Super Duper Rescue Heads by Deerhoof   88BPM
Electro pop again, from San Fancisan's Deerhoof.  

3. Hearts by I Break Horses  90BPM
Swedish indie pop/rock. You can almost hear the heart beating.

4. Gobbledigook by Sigur Rós  88BPM
Icelandic giants.  I love the name of this song and I love that these guys are massive, but still sing in Icelandic.  Fuck English domination!  

5. Hole by KRAPP 89BPM
Frenchie electronic/pop music. I think they sound super like CocoRosie.  Listen to this track and then compare it to CocoRosie R.I.P Burn Face that was on last months 6 Free Running Songs.

6. The Delicate by Shipping News  88BPM
OK enough electronic, happy music, here's a something a little harder, with a track from post-punk/post-hardcore, Shipping News, if you like that sort of thing...

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

180BPM Difficult

Finally I have a track that really is 180BPM!  I orginally downloaded this track from Epitonic under the title 180bpmDifficult, but when I went back to link to it, it seemed to have disappeared.  Well I found it again under the title, Let The Future Tell. Its by Daedelus and available for free on Epitonic. So click here to download it for free, then put it on your run playlist, and you're in for 2 minutes of dark, menacing organic beats.  Perfect for trail running in the winter.

Monday, 9 January 2012


It's been a while since my last post. I have been super busy! So this song, Erwischt, is by a German singer-songwriter whose name, and music!, I just find delightful, Gisbert Zu Knyphausen. Not sure how to pronounce it? Well if you listen close, in the video Gisbert is introduced and the guy says his name. Using a tap for beats per minute tool I get the album version (Hurra Hurra So Nicht) at exactly 90BPM, so perfect for a 180SPM (Strides per minute) run. In the video Gisbert performs the song live and plays a little fast, I get 92BPM.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Catch Up December 2011

So now its time for my catch up playlist on Spotify for December.  It's here.  I think there's one song that's not actually available on Spotify (once you have a song in your library you can listen to it on Spotify even if it not usually available). The song in question is Glass Table Girls by The Weeknd.  You can legally download  that song from Epitonic by clicking here.  The last song on the playlist Sad But True is a tune from Metallica, but they are not on Spotify, so I've put a cover in.  The cover has the same BPM of the original.

As always, all these songs have a BPM close to 90 or 180, so will get you running at 180SPM (strides per minute).