Melody’s Echo Chamber

Bon Voyage

Fat Possum

Jun 18, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


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With a more plunderphonic aesthetic than was present on her debut, Melody Prochet returns to the psych rock fray with a compact seven-track record, entitled Bon Voyage. Here, the Echo Chamber takes on a homegrown sound: with audio samples and spoken word, more nods to French '60s and experimental rock, and less homage paid to her Tame Impala ex-partner/producer, Kevin Parker. The result plays like a remarkable next step for Melody's Echo Chamber, as if Prochet has really built out the eccentricities that were lurking in the corners of her debut. As such, the tracks on Bon Voyage are so vibrant in structure they're almost boiling over with creative force. Even though it clocks in at around 35 minutes, this record is packed with dense materialgenre-shifting, busy songs that feel much longer than they actually are.

Prochet was forced to delay the release of Bon Voyage and its subsequent tour after suffering a brain aneurism and broken vertebrae from an unspecified accident in June of 2017. And though all the music was written prior to the accident, this delay managed to shroud the release in more secrecy and aided in rounding out the mercurial sound of Bon Voyage. In short, it really does sound like a cerebral alteration at work.

Epic album opener, "Cross My Heart," winds and bends through familiar territory before plunging into a Stereolab-influenced breakdown and folding into a cascade of strings until the track naturally fades out. The album's first single, "Breathe In, Breathe Out" sets a playful tone, yet still retains that sense of lurching momentum that was so abundant on the opening track. Perhaps the most go-ahead pop song on the record, "Breathe In, Breathe Out" still manages to provide that bite that was mostly non-existent on her debut.

"Desert Horse" is a loopy, polyrhythmic blend of samples, digitized vocals, and genres-so varied that it can be hard to pin down one exact origin or influence. With a hint of Grace Jones, some Radiohead-esque digital effects, and a palette of tones, "Desert Horse" is one of the most interesting (albeit disturbing) tracks to emerge from a Melody Prochet disc.

Of course, residual Tame Impala influences remain on this record, with the dynamic track "Quand Les Larmes D'un Ange Font Danser La Neige" featuring guest vocals from POND frontman and Tame Impala member of yesteryear, Nick Allbrook. "Visions of Someone Special, On a Wall of Reflections" must have some bearing associated with Parker, if not for the lyrical content then for the haunting overdrive and associative aspect of the track pushing it forward.

Bon Voyage really highlights the musical vocabulary of Prochet, and as such, the record achieves a great deal in very little time. Satiating in a rather unique way, this album cements singer/songwriter Prochet in the archives of psych rock heavyweights. (www.facebook.com/MelodyProchet/)

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