Beyond The Castle Walls is the debut release from Baptizm, the creative project of artists (and lovers!) Matilda Dods and Alex Wall.
Recorded at their home studio in Sydney, Beyond The Castle Walls is a sultry, Krautrock-tinged ode to long-haul drives between Sydney and Byron Bay. “I was doing these long night drives, and I wanted this music to suit the nighttime,” explains Alex.
Alex is a stalwart of Australian music. Previous projects include Wax Witches, and the offspring-spawning lo-fi act Bleeding Knees Club. Baptizm is a far cry from the youthful revelry of beery circle pits Alex once traversed.
“That scene I started making music in 12 years ago has changed into something that I really have nothing in common with,” Wall explains.
“I don’t like drinking beer from shoes. I don’t want to act like Bam Margera for likes on Instagram, or sing songs about how sick the pub is. I just want to make music at home that I like and would listen to.”
Alex and Matilda got together late last year and, shortly after cohabitating, began working on music. “I knew she played music and could sing really well,” Alex says of Matilda. “She was always playing guitar around the house and singing. So in my head I’ve wanted to make music with her but hadn’t figured out what it would be yet.”
Matilda’s upbringing was rooted in music. Her father was a musician, playing bass in Renée Geyer’s band in his youth, he’s now a member of the 28 man ‘fake genuine Russian choir’ Dustyesky.
“I had always wanted to be a songwriter and taught myself to play guitar purely to have an instrument that I could use to write and sing with,” says Matilda. In high school, she was mentored by Danielle Caruana of Mama Kin, who she supported on her The Magician’s Daughter tour.
After starting work as a model in 2013, Matilda admits that music “fell by the wayside.”
“I lived out of a suitcase for pretty much 5 years which didn’t lend itself that well to my creative process,” she said. “Which had always been locking myself in my bedroom with an acoustic guitar and writing incredibly sad songs.”
“I had always felt a really deep sadness that I had let making music slide down my list of priorities, I lost a lot of confidence in myself and my abilities.”
Matilda notes that being around Alex inspired her to start making music again. “Making music for me had become something that was quite sad and lonely for me, and something that I felt very disconnected from,” she says.
“Watching Alex make music is so inspiring, he’s so resourceful and clever in the way that he goes about it, and he just truly does not give a fuck what anyone else thinks.”
Alex says that he desired to make music with Matilda from the dawn of their relationship, but hadn’t figured out what it would be until he “bought a drum machine from Cash Converters.” The same model Jesus and Mary Chain used on 1989’s Automatic.
He started making songs and it clicked that “it was the perfect sound and project for Matilda to sing on.” The result is Beyond The Castle Walls, a four-track EP that simmers with a kind of erotic mystique.
“I wanted it to suit Matilda’s voice and personality,” says Alex. “She’s sexy and I think the music is sexy.”
Listen to Beyond The Castle Walls by Baptizm: