Melody's Echo Chamber - Melody's Echo Chamber (Vinyl)

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Melody’s Echo Chamber is the name given to the work of Paris-based multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Melody Prochet. Possessing a penchant for wild-eyed psychedelia, homespun motorik rhythm and an effortless flair for the sort of melodic classicism redolent of chamber song, Prochet is at once both an aficionado of pop’s outer limits and off-kilter to its expectations.

With her smoky, sensual voice and romantic presence, Prochet embodies a distinctive kind of elegance and bold sense-of-self long associated with France’s more notable musical exports. But as much as her national identity runs through the fibre of the eleven tracks that make up Melody’s Echo Chamber, there’s worldliness at play too; a looking beyond the fringes of personal experience to trawl through Europe’s art pop lineage – kraut, space-rock, dream-pop, electronica – in a way that’s as much cinematic in its scope as it is musical.

The likes of Debussy and Spiritualized are seldom quoted in tandem when it comes to touch-points of an artist’s debut album but for Prochet, a classical music student of some twelve years, this sense of disparate influences makes a lot of sense. For all its blown-out boom and electronic wear-and-tear, a song like ‘Crystallized’ unfolds with a sweeping grace and poise that is deceptively complex, and the album is peppered with moments of melodic illumination that feel almost like movements in the way they frequently elevate the song up and away from the heavy, damaged break-beats and mesmeric bass loops that typically drive them.
The intriguing combination of more confrontational, roughshod instrumentation and stirring compositional scope present in Prochet’s work is in part attributable to the album’s origins. Predominantly recorded and mixed with Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker in Perth and finished off solo in France, the collaboration, struck up after the two met on tour when Prochet was playing in a previous band, proved a perfect chemistry.

 

 



An impeccable debut by Prochet - as far as psych albums go this is top tier. Listening to it in 2021, it’s hard not engage this album through the lens of Prochet’s subsequently troubled 2010s (writers block, her accident, struggles to pop back in the scene, etc) and as a critical piece in the jigsaw puzzle of Parker’s developing sound (reputations 4/4 snare hits clang, bass lines thump, a low fidelity iteration of his production tropes we’ve come to know as emblematic of his sound).

Sometimes I wish the psychedelic freak-outs which close out several of these tracks gave a bit more way to Prochet’s gorgeous vocals - on side A, in particular, the run time of instrumental jams and vocal passages feel nearly equal. Side B is a welcome addition as we start to witness more metric modulation, some synth lines that are a bit more chilled out in tone (the entire thing really sears with some harsh tones in the higher frequency range). Anecdotally I’ve heard some of those tracks were finished while Prochet was alone in Perth while Parker was out touring Lonerism, which makes sense. As strong as side A is (some of the best singles are on there), the tracks sometimes blended together a bit in tone without enough of her vocals to maintain my consistent interest.

Again, a lot of the mythos of this album as it’s discussed today retroactively gives Parker so much credit that it comes at the expense of Prochet’s agency as songwriter and performer - this deserves a bit of historical correction. Clearly she is a visionary, while Parker’s influence is also undeniable - both things can be true at once, but let’s not act like this album would exist if she wasn’t involved. Infitnitely grateful for this magical debut she brought us.

By: RealMrFantastik


A1 I Follow You
A2 Crystallized
A3 You Won't Be Missing That Part Of Me
A4 Some Time Alone, Alone
A5 Bisou Magique
B1 Endless Shore
B2 Quand Vas Tu Rentrer?
B3 Mount Hopeless
B4 Snowcapped Andes Crash
B5 Be Proud Of Your Kids



Contains 12"x12" info insert & download coupon

Label Code: LC 27862