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Psychedelic Sweet Dreams
on October 30, 2012
Every once in a while an album comes along that floors me. Out of left field this nugget of music beauty appears and takes over my ears for weeks. Painting pictures of hazy days and melancholy nights. Walking that fine line between psychedelic and sober. Existential and down to earth. That album as of late is Melody's Echo Chamber. A mix of Blonde Redhead's melancholy breeze, Tame Impala's psychedelic haze and late eighties shoegaze courtesy of Lush. It's dreamy, sleepy, drugged-out and at times quite melancholy and beautiful.
Melody's Echo Chamber's namesake, singer and musician Melody Prochet is definitely living in the past, and we're the better for it. A mix of 60s french pop, 70s psychedelic and 80s alternative, her debut album is an aural fix like you've never heard. Or at least haven't heard it in some time. On opening track `I Follow You' she swoons like a lovelorn Kazu Makino(as if she wasn't lovelorn already) over a melancholy guitar line before the chorus comes in filled out with wavering, strummed electric guitar. Imagine Tame Impala and Blonde Redhead collaborating together and that should give you a pretty good idea of where Prochet is at on this excellent debut. `Crystallized' continues the acid-battered sound of Tame Impala even more. So much so that when you check the liner notes and see that Tame Impala's main guy Kevin Parker produced and played on this album you aren't surprised at all. Melody Prochet's quiet, sleepy vocals are a perfect match for Parker's technicolor-meets-bong water-stained production values. Any other combination of musician and producer and this wouldn't be Melody's Echo Chamber.
I'm all about nostalgia and wading in the waters of the past. This record is a head first dive into analog synths, lovelorn melodies and slightly danceable beats firmly planted in Serge Gainsbourg's subconscious and the expatriot-strewn streets of early 60s Paris. `Bisou Magique' is a beautiful track sung in french that brings to mind Kevin Parker's quieter moments with Tame Impala. Melody Prochet's voice carries this song to a whispered, lilting finish. `Endless Shore', once again borrowing from Parker's main gig for inspiration, sounds as if Lush's Miki Berenyi stopped in for the Innerspeaker sessions. `Mount Hopeless' floats along on a synth line and slowed-down, lo fi-sounding break beat as Melody Prochet sings to noone in particular. The beautiful, Portishead-sounding `Snowcapped Andes Crash' floats along till the final track, 'Be Proud Of Your Kids', complete with cute little french kid talking over the track, ends the album on a strange note.
Of all the new albums that have come out this year, Melody's Echo Chamber has caught my attention more than any of them. It's a strange, psychedelic and beautiful head trip. Melody Prochet has a great voice without making her voice the main attraction. Like any good musician, she uses her voice as just another instrument. She serves the song. In Kevin Parker she's found the perfect studio partner. Together they've created one of this year's best albums, and the best debut by a mile.
Step into Melody's Echo Chamber and get lost.