SONG PREMIERE: Simone White Ponders the Future With Whispery Piano Pop on “Letter to the Last Generation”

“I’m a word person, I like solving the puzzle.”

“Beep.”

Just one word sung in a hushed voice that is quite the opposite of the muscular engine that made it famous.

In 2007, songwriter Simone White’s just-shy-of-two-minutes tune “The Beep Beep Song” became the soundtrack for the Audi ® R8 campaign, catapulting the song from merely track three on White’s I Am The Man album, to millions of ears, generating countless cover versions, remixes, and over a million views of White’s homemade music video (budget: $30) for the song.

Interesting that White likens songwriting to solving a puzzle, as that very concept is behind her latest collaboration with the luxury carmaker. The latest Audi® campaign launched this spring celebrates the ten year anniversary of the Audi ® R8’s V10 engine and presents the vehicle in an astounding new commercial comprised of thousands of photographs of each individual part of the car.

All of this activity will remind listeners of White’s masterful songwriting, built on “cathartic intimacy” and “mesmerizing intelligence” (MOJO) and sung with a “sweetly airy and hypnotic” voice “like ether” (NPR), as White prepares for the release of her latest full-length album Letter To The Last Generation on Oct. 18th.

Returning to the idea of puzzles, White explains that it wasn’t until after Letter To The Last Generation was completed that she realized she was piecing together a concept album all along.

“Before I had the title, I played the demo of the song ‘Letter To The Last Generation’ to a friend and they thought it was a breakup song,” White remembers. “I was so mad! I said, ‘What?! It’s about climate change!’”

Soon after, White came up with the perfect title to convey the actual meaning of that song.

Letter To The Last Generation became the album title, as well, pulling together a collection of songs tinged with ache, longing and doubt into an overall story of an apocalyptic landscape in the not-too-distant future.

Today Glide is offering an exclusive early listen of the album’s title track, which will be released as a single. Showcasing White’s soft and whispery yet impactful vocals, the song is a wandering meditation on what future generations will think of us. Piano and vocals take the spotlight, but they are complemented by sweeping instrumentation that bring to mind the score of a Tim Burton film. There is a sort of eerie wonder to White’s vocal tone as she ponders, “why did we wait/all the signs were there”, presumably reflecting on climate change and the numerous other atrocities that seem to be putting humanity on the fast track to destruction. 

White describes the inspiration behind the tune:

“The song ‘Letter to the Last Generation’ is, like the title says, written to the future, an apology of sorts. And through that, I hope, a kind of startling viewpoint for us in the present, what are we doing right now? What will the future generations think of us? What would it be like to be able to speak to them, to try to explain. Yes, it’s bigger than all of us can comprehend, and yes, we don’t know what we as individuals can do. And yes, we must each and all of us be a part of a gigantic shift in consciousness about how we live on Earth. Recording this song, it was originally going to be a one-off, but that day with all the musicians in the room playing live, it felt just right. I was excited about making a record for the first time in ages and I only really figured out the kind of album I wanted to make then. Letter to the Last Generation became the album title, as well, pulling together a collection of songs tinged with ache, longing and doubt into an overall story of an apocalyptic landscape in the not-too-distant future.”

LISTEN:

Letter To The Last Generation arrives on October 18th.

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