For her entire life, it was all she knew: those tall limestone walls, those spider-web streets covered in cobbles, that sun-soaked shore beneath that warm azure sky. Leaving small southern Italian province Lecce wasn’t easy for songwriter-producer Matilde Davoli, born and raised among the city’s stunning architecture and olive groves. But swapping that gentle hometown for the hustle and bustle of London in 2013 having craved adventure, sparked something. It’s written all over I’m Calling You From My Dreams, the artist’s smouldering electronic gem of a debut solo album. A record with echoing chimes of Stereolab inspired guitar, big washes of dream-pop haze and moody nods to the sixties Italian psychedelic soundtrack music.
The organic feel of the work is down to an unconventional, instinctive approach for Matilde, who chose to let the songs almost shape themselves as she wrote and recorded them. “In the past I would write and rehearse songs with a band before recording. In the process, I would put a lot of thought in what and how to write,” she says. “This time, the songs weren’t planned. They happened very naturally. I would sit in my room with some synths, or with my guitar, and while playing I’d get inspired by a few chords or a melody. I’d build some beat along the laptop and eventually, day after day, more songs would emerge. It was surprising even for me.”
An engineer and producer to other acts as well as her own alluring music, Matilde’s cult reputation as an intrepid electronic experimenter meant she was able to fund the record herself, via donations from fans across Europe on Kickstarter type platform Music Raiser. “I had the urgent feeling of wanting to do something on my own. This time was about not compromising but getting all of it out. I was ready to talk about me and just me, and I wanted it to happen,” she says.