The Best Walking To Work Song Ever

My walk to work takes 25 minutes. It’s a fairly leisurely ramble, certainly not part of any ludicrous fitness campaign, with the iPod generally switched to shuffle to accompany the stroll. One day last week, the following track took its turn. It’s Atlas, by Battles.

It’s perhaps the most infectiously rhythmic record of the year, and a remarkable thing happened. My stride lengthened. I walked with a greater urgency. And I seemed to get to work a little more quickly than normal.

So today I tried something. I followed my regular route to work, but I only played this track. Each time it finished, I started it again. By the time I reached the office my knee joints were aching and my calves aflame, but I’d shaved an entire three minutes off my normal journey time.

I wonder if this technique would be of use to Britain’s Olympic hopefuls. I’d certainly like to think so.

POSSIBLE FACT: When Battles signed to Warp Records, they apparently spent all of their advance on the mirrored box you see in the video. I would love this to be true.


  1. i absolutely LOVE that tune. to see it being played live is something to behold. for that reason i am not surprised by the shaving of 3 minutes of your walk into work.

    do you think that if you listened to something slower and a bit darker you might “accidentally” walk into a car?

  2. What did you use your three highly deserved minutes for?
    Have a breather?

    The voice tuner didn’t agree with me.. And what are they singing?
    “Semi-nice truck dri-iver”..? Right.

    • Btw, I recommend Captain Beefheart’s “Tropical hotdog night” from the Shiny Beast album.
      Makes you shake those buttocks wherever you’re standing, whatever it is that you’re doing, and it gives you plenty of mojo.

  3. The list!
    Fraser, don’t tell me this year there’s no list!

  4. We used to have a mirror box like that at work for doing daylighting studies, it just wasn’t see through from the outside.

    By the way it’s wobbling, I reckon it’s just mylar(?) film – you stretch it tight with a hair dryer. Dirt cheap.

  5. The song doesn’t seem to have the same effect when you know the lyrics. there is a certain joy in guessing what the lyrics might be, coming up with something really random.

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