Release Date: Jun 15, 2018
Record label: Fat Possum Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Bon Voyage, the second full-length debut from psych-rock musician Melody's Echo Chamber (the project of Melody Prochet), is more an exploration and narrative of her own psyche and artistic nature than a simple record. Released five years after her stellar self-titled debut that was produced by Kevin Parker of Tame Impala, Bon Voyage is an expensive, ambitious effort that characterises Prochet's growth and self-exploration as an artist. More a personal and sonic adventure than just a standard full-length piece of work, it in itself is an artistic challenge and is a unique and surreal document of spirituality and poetic soundscapes that is vast and all-encompassing.
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.
Five years since her stunning dream pop debut, Melody Prochet's return is initially a baffling one. Its Kevin Parker-fuelled sound has been ditched for a complex, experimental style that's more reminiscent of avant-garde krautrockers Can. There are only seven tracks, one of which has been available since 2014. And there is barely anything that resembles a traditional pop song structure.
Melody's Echo Chamber's Bon Voyage is one of those "highly anticipated" albums that are as haunted as they are hyped, with fans' excitement for the music giving way to concern for its creator. French psych-pop artist Melody Prochet isn't a celebrity, but the travails she underwent while finishing her second LP were newsworthy: It ends with a song originally released in 2014. "A million hours of work" went into her sessions with Tame Impala's Kevin Parker, Prochet's now-ex-boyfriend and the producer on her self-titled 2012 debut.
I blame Tame Impala for never having allowed me to properly get into Melody's Echo Chamber; as my reaction to the Australian psychers was never an enthusiastic one, their proximity to the French singer/songwriter (erroneously) prevented me from exploring her music any further -- prejudice is a very ugly thing, kids. Last summer we were all taken aback by the unexpected news that Melody Prochet had suffered a "serious accident" and that she would be in the hospital for several months; she was in the middle of a tour, and the medical report about a brain aneurysm and broken vertebrae led to much speculation about the actual nature of the accident. Even though an amazing wave of "get well soon" messages echoed throughout her fanbase, it's safe to say this is not the kind of media buzz an artist wants to generate; a tragic accident or any other detail about their private life can become so inconveniently centerstage to their career -- and here we are talking about it, huh -- that ultimately prevents the audience from paying due attention to their music, eventually turning their métier into a mere public spectacle fed by morbid curiosity.
On this long-awaited return, psych-rock explorer Melody Prochet hop-scotches between moods and ideas like she's on a time-limit It's six years since Puyricard, France-hailing multi-instrumentalist Melody Prochet released her self-titled debut album as Melody's Echo Chamber. Produced by Kevin Parker of Tame Impala, the record aligned Prochet with Parker's distinctive sound, as well as that of fellow psych luminaries Pond and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. This was forward-thinking, hallucinatory music with the ability to go beyond its late-60's influences.
All aboard, as Melody Prochet once again opens the door to her echo chamber. In 2012 Melody's Echo Chamber released their self-titled debut album, but new album 'Bon Voyage' surpasses that, and then some, while delivering some deliriously skewed-pop. 'Cross My Heart' opens with a classic jangly indie guitar riff, before a glorious string section and Prochet's breathless vocals tell us everything we need to know about the track, and album.
Melody Prochet's 2012 debut, under the moniker Melody's Echo Chamber, was essentially a collaboration between the French singer and Tame Impala's Kevin Parker. "Melody's Echo Chamber" merged Prochet's melodic vocals with trippy production, throwing just enough grit atop the French-pop breathiness to build anticipation for the follow-up. But when Prochet and Parker tried again, they hit a dead end and parted ways.
'So much blood on my hands!' Melody Prochet gasps, before being overtaken by buzzsaw guitars and surging electronics. Moments later, with what is either a violent, protracted string bend or a human wail of anguish (bloodcurdling in any case) we arrive, panting, at a delightfully unhinged climax. This is 'Desert Horse', a manic, five-minute genre survey and the third track of Prochet's insistently protean latest, Bon Voyage.