Interview: Simone White’s Loving Paean to the Heart, “The Beep Beep Song”

Simone White © Simone White
Dazzlingly fresh and unnervingly sweet, Simone White’s “The Beep Beep Song” is an irresistible outpouring of tenderness and vulnerability.
Listen: “The Beep Beep Song” – Simone White


The song has endured for me like a love song for life, a paean to the heart, to trusting your instincts.

Dazzlingly fresh and unnervingly sweet, Simone White’s “The Beep Beep Song” is an irresistible outpouring of tenderness and vulnerability. Times change, but some things – like the power of love, or the magic of this 12-year-old song – stay the same.

The Beep Beep Song - Simone White

The Beep Beep Song – Simone White

beep beep beep beep beep beep beep
go the horns in the cars in the street
we walked away from the lover’s leap
opposite directions
synchronized feet
wait wait wait wait wait wait wait
for the time it takes
a heart to mend a break

how many moons are reflected in the lake
can you wait forever if time is all it takes

Singer/songwriter Simone White has five albums to her name and a sixth one on the way, but before the NYC-based artist drops Letter To The Last Generation in October, she’s harkening back to her roots – and sprucing things up a bit in the process. Originally released in 2007, White’s hit single “The Beep Beep Song” was the well-deserved soundtrack for Audi ® R8’s marketing campaign; remade for Audi ® R8’s ten-year anniversary, White’s re-recording (released August 2, 2019) rekindles the track’s beauty and intimate elegance.

White is a folk-leaning acoustic pop artist with a predisposition toward increasingly lush arrangements and subtle, sonically powerful voicings. Though no one wants to be defined by their “old” work, “The Beep Beep Song” remains an incredibly strong depiction of White’s talents at work: The song highlights her lyrical prowess in its presentation of love’s connection and disconnect: “We walked away from the lover’s leap,” White reflects in the first verse, her voice charmingly soft and alluring as she sings about a relationship’s close: “opposite directions, synchronized feet.”

despite all the warnings
I landed like a fallen star
in your arms

“The Beep Beep Song” goes on to explore the effects of heartbreak, and ultimately our dive back into connection and intimacy when we once again let ourselves be vulnerable and find someone special:

beat beat beat beat beat beat beat
goes my heart on the side of my sleeve
whispering something I can hardly believe
“let me take the lead
’cause love is all we need”

The marketing team at Audi knew what they were doing when they chose this song over a decade ago: There’s a timelessness about “The Beep Beep Song” that extends well beyond cars or relationships. This is a song of hearts: How they break, heal, and fall in love. Simone White spoke to Atwood Magazine about “The Beep Beep Song,” her experience as an independent artist, and her upcoming album Letter to the Last Generation: Get to know the New York singer/songwriter through our interview below, and listen to “The Beep Beep Song” and White’s newest single, “Don’t Turn Your Back on Love,” out now!


Simone White © Simone White


A CONVERSATION WITH SIMONE WHITE

Atwood Magazine: Firstly, I wanted to ask how your relationship with “The Beep Beep Song” has changed over the years.

Simone White: In the beginning, it was the little jewel that I would jokingly present at the end of a show, “now here’s the happy song”. There was a period where I thought people were tired of it, or that it was somehow too light-hearted. But it’s the one everyone wants to hear again and again.

It was very popular in Europe, especially Holland. On tour in 2012 I was on a radio show in Amsterdam and I offered to play it and the DJ said, “Oh god, don’t play ‘The Beep Beep Song,’ we’ve heard it so much.” So at the concert that night I felt shy to play it and for the encore I did “Great Imperialist State” instead (which is my song about America’s exploitation and dominance of farmers in other countries). Later, the promoter asked in disbelief “But why didn’t you play the Beep Beep Song, everyone was waiting for it”.

What was the personal significance of this song, for you, when it first released in 2007?

White: I wrote it in 2004, right after a goodbye with a fleeting fancy. But the song has endured for me like a love song for life, a paean to the heart, to trusting your instincts.

How has your music and artistry developed and evolved over the past decade, and how did you implement that in this new version of “The Beep Beep Song”?

I recorded the new version same as the first, just vocal and guitar- the people who made the new Audi ad added the instrumentation. But I think it’s way better, I’m a better singer now.

What was most important for you to convey in this updated version?

White: I can hear the difference in my voice, in the tone and also the wisdom of a heart that’s had a few more breaks.

beat beat beat beat beat beat beat
goes my heart on the side of my sleeve
whispering something I can hardly believe
“let me take the lead
’cause love is all we need”

Were you previously involved in writing jingles, or was this a one-off licensing experience for you? What were the most important lessons you learned from your involvement with the Audi campaign?

White: I’ve had a few songs used in ads and films; the first Audi ad was certainly the biggest. I wish I’d had a manager to help me during that time, figure out how to navigate the interest in my music. It was a bit haphazard.

I can hear the difference in my voice, in the tone and also the wisdom of a heart that’s had a few more breaks.


What would you recommend to young artists trying to make a living off their music in this day?

White: Find enjoyment in the process. Understand success in larger terms than whether or not you’re making money from it. Read the contract, really understand it, get a lawyer. Own the master recordings!

I’m so excited to hear Letter to the Last Generation upon its October release! What inspired this album, and where does it lie in your discography?

White: This album feels like it’s set in a futuristic near apocalyptic time, with personal songs, love and heartache in the time of great change. I think it sounds like a natural evolution from my last studio album Silver Silver, which was my first recording with more electronic production.

What are your favorite moments on this album?

White: I love the crazy synths on the chorus of “Little Heaven Little Blue,” every time I hear that part I feel this surge of head-banging raucous energy. I love the chorus in “This Is All You Felt,” I feel the kind of wry anger and defiance of the character, trying to convince their lover- or themselves- to keep going despite everything falling apart.

Simone White © Simone White

Simone White © Simone White


Lastly, who else are you listening to right now, and can you recommend for us please some names we should be looking out for as well?

White: I’m listening to Les Filles de Illighadad and radiooooo.com (it’s a map of the world, you choose a country and a decade).

My friends Derde Verde are releasing an album, Slow Light, this October. I listened to it four times in a row when they sent me the early mixes.

Noice (formerly Alexander Noice Sextet), are releasing an album this month. Their music is a chimera of I don’t know what- jazz/new music/metal/punk, they were my favorite band in LA to watch live, to see them playing every note.

My friend Marisol Limon Martinez is releasing a beautiful ambient/new classical album, Movements 1 – 15, in October.

Listen: “The Beep Beep Song” – Simone White

— — — —

The Beep Beep Song - Simone White

Connect to Simone White on
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
📸 © Simone White

:: Stream Simone White ::



Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com