Written By Louis-Jordan Phillips.
Dunebug is going from strength to strength. Each day she gets new playlist features and reviews, so I’m gonna get my arse in gear and write about her before she gets too successful.
I wonder, if it’s a solo project with a backing band, do you say Dunebug are or is?
That’s what Chi Limpiroj’s Dunebug is. A lo-fi bedroom pop artist making fully-fledged recordings. Playing live she’s backed by a band, I don’t know anything about her IRL band so I won’t write about them. Sorry guys!
I met Chi on Bumble, and after a week of chatting, did not go on a date. At the time she didn’t live in the same city as me. Due to that – and maybe other reasons – we stopped talking.
About a year later, we lived in the same city.
An online friendship was born, we talked about the music we were into, our tastes were similar, both of us into bands like Frankie Cosmos, Sasami, Elliott Smith.
We’d often send each other our own demos. I was immediately inspired by hers. Whereas I had been slogging along with an acoustic guitar for the past 10 years, taking occasional breaks to be in bands that go the way most bands go. Her recordings were fully-fledged with all the bells and whistles you wouldn’t expect from a singer-songwriter making music in their bedroom. I immediately wanted to make band recordings myself, she taught me an easy way to make realistic sounding drums that didn’t involve playing them on the keyboard. Kick snare kick kick snare. I can never be bothered doing that. I tried for a bit but went back to just playing acoustic, leaving ‘lofi indie beats to study and relax to’ to Chi, who is actually good at it.
Her songs sound like indie lullabies. Dunebug’s self-titled EP. Released last year, is the kind of music you listen to drunk on the night tube from start to finish; eyes closed, zoning out, disappointed that you got to the end, immediately starting it from the top.
Maybe you should stop swaying your head back and forth like that, someone might see you. No, it’s fine you’re the only one in this carriage.
Dunebug’s music is comprised of simple guitar chords, with a nice melody over the top. The focus of the tracks is more on the song and her voice. Which is soft and breathy, something you hear a lot, combined with a strong British accent. which you don’t hear much with that.
Her latest single, which I’ll talk about the most – unless I can think of something else – was released on 14th February. Valentine’s day. The song is called Alone Like Me. and I just think that’s great.
The first audible line, after some nice ‘oooh’s and aah’s’ that feel a bit doo-wop, has her deadpan singing:
‘all my friends are married and I’m not, remotely close to being happy.’
She sent me the demo of this track, months before release. I found myself singing ‘all my friends are getting married and I’m not’ constantly, to myself. It gets under your skin, in a nice way. Chi has a way to make the simplest of phrases speak right to the human condition.
Soon after sending me the private Soundcloud link, she took it down and wouldn’t let me hear it until its official release. I protested but she said that she wanted to see the stats from the blogs checking it out and my listens were ruining that.
Here’s the next line:
‘What’s the point, I’m close to giving up.’
The strange thing about the way she sings this, it’s uplifting. It’s all in the context of the song, and the beautifully simple chords and noodly guitar lines that go over it.
She has a way of speaking to your innate fears and desire, other songwriters find they have to come up with metaphors and steal lines from books to reach something approaching meaning (totally not talking about myself here) they end up right outside it, looking in on Chi’s songs, which achieve it seemingly without trying.
Dunebug gets right to the point. And it works all the better for it.
Chi features on my track, Adrianne, on my upcoming album. It’s not out yet as of writing this. But I’ll be performing most of the tracks from it at the Star and Hackney downs tomorrow, as of writing this.
She clicked ‘interested’ on the Facebook event, and said she’ll try to come down.
It would be nice to finally meet her but it’s cool if she’s busy. Another time.
Edit: She never came to the gig.
Written by Louis-Jordan Phillips:
Louis is a musician based in Manchester but is originally from London. He is the first person I’ve let write a piece on the site for agesssss!