Let's talk about: The Heart Is A Muscle

Maybe this’ll become a series, one song at a time. Kinda like what @Swan269 started with his KMITO post earlier this week.

Let’s talk about The Heart Is A Muscle. I’ll go first. :slight_smile:

When I was digging into GOY, this was one of the first few songs I found – the video ranks very highly on YouTube when you search for the band’s name. I liked it, but wasn’t really blown away. It seems like a pretty simple song – very basic drumming, very straightforward structure, etc. Dave’s lyrics are really great, and are way better througout the song than what I think is a pretty cheesy couplet in the chorus. (“the heart is a muscle / and I want to make it strong”) Overall, it’s not the kind of song where I’d say “You have to listen to this!” if I find someone who wants to learn about the band.

But you know what? Every time it comes on, I cannot help but sing along and totally get into the groove. It reminds me of U2’s “Beautiful Day” – it’s not something you’d put on a list of the band’s greatest songs, but when you listen to it and turn it up loud, you’re like … this is WAY better than I give it credit for.

To this day, I’m not sure where it would rank if I made a list of my fave songs. Not top 5, but maybe top 10 or top 15?

Your turn! Where does THIAM rank for you?

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The Heart Is A Muscle rates as one of my favourite tracks by the band. I can distinctly remember the first time I heard it was on Triple J radio’s weekly new music show (every Sunday 6-9pm) - August 13, 2017, where they previewed the album before the official release that week.

I came in halfway through and was immediately taken by the bridge “ I let bad love betray me once / But I was barely out of high school then / And I guess I fear the same results / That none will take me as I am ”. Throughout my senior years of high school I had feelings for someone who did not reciprocate, so those lines resonate with the fear and insecurity of opening yourself up.

As I mentioned in a previous post, upon the release of Go Farther In Lightness, THIAM wasn’t a radio hit immediately so there were no guarantees that the song would be played at the live shows. When I saw them live for the first time this was one of the songs I most wanted to hear, upon hearing those opening notes I screamed with excitement.

There is an anthemic quality to the track which fills me with joy every time it comes on.

One of my other great loves is the sport of rugby league. Fox Sports in Australia featured the song in one of their advertisements for the 2018 National Rugby League (NRL) season. The band went on to play at the NRL Grand Final (rugby league superbowl) later that same year. I joke that the market research for using the song was determined by a venn diagram of me (Gang of Youths / Rugby League fan!).

Where does it rank? I would definitely have it in the top four/five songs off Go Farther In Lightness . I’d say it’s in their top 10 songs.

I think The Heart is a Muscle is a good song but it has been a grower for me. I think I would put it in the lower part of my top 20.

This vibe of this song to me is a sophisticated and mature version of Tubthumping, with the stately pace of it and horn sections. I haven’t seen this song live but I bet if I saw it, it would move up on my list. Unlike Matt, I do adore the back end of the chorus lyric of

The heart is a muscle now
I wanna make it strong

Its just kind of a reminder to me that the heart doesn’t need to be fragile and frail when trouble comes along, but it can be a strong muscle to carry you through the trouble. The heart doesn’t always have to break.


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I can see it being a grower for me, too. That’s probably what I was trying to say in the first post. Every time I hear it, I realize that it’s better than I think.

Heard this 2x in the car already today and had one of those You’ve really underestimated this one, McGee! moments. It’s really so good. The lyrics are fantastic. Damn.

Alright, I’m fully on board here. This is a great freaking song. As my kids would say…

  1. It’s a banger!
  2. It slaps!


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