Melody’s Echo Chamber - Melody’s Echo Chamber

Sophisticated yet uncomplicated, misty yet vibrant, luxurious yet disquieting.

Label: Weird World

Rating: 7

Let’s be honest; when you think of the term ‘muse’, you probably don’t automatically assume that said muse is ever male. After all, in Hellenistic mythology, the Muses were the Goddesses of creative inspiration. In modern music and art, we only hear about female muses: Sedgwick/Warhol, Smith/Mapplethorpe, Moss/Klein etc. But with Melody Prochet’s debut as Melody’s Echo Chamber, she has found a muse in Tame Impala frontman, Kevin Parker. Having previously written songs for her other projects, the Narcoleptic Dancers and My Bee’s Garden, it was only when Prochet found in Parker a kindred spirit who could free the music bouncing around her own ‘echo chamber’, that she felt she could remodel her classically-trained mind with a freer wiring. The result we have is the melancholic psych-pop of ‘Melody’s Echo Chamber’.

As an experience it’s akin to basking in the sunshine of a Sunday afternoon, before the angst of knowing it has to come to an end starts to creeping in. This creeping feeling of dread is what amplifies the overwhelming romance of the gorgeous ‘I Follow You’ and the futility of ‘Mount Hopeless’, which sounds like a space-pop reappropriation of the Charlie’s Angels theme tune. Elsewhere, ‘You Won’t Be Missing That Part of Me’, with its ineffably Parisian vibe (particularly at the beginning) starts off playfully but insists on flirting with a bit of danger as it progresses. The recurring theme of each song seems to be that the black cloud of drudgery always haunts something beautiful and peaceful. ‘Some Time Alone, Alone’ is perhaps the clearest embodiment of this theme: the tinny drum marches towards a sunburst of guitars that seem to enter a melodic alternation of peaking (hope) and setting (despair).

Parker, who has just released the earth-shatteringly good, ‘Lonerism’, is on production duties and plays on every song on ‘Melody’s Echo Chamber’ and as a result his fingerprints are all over it. But in all honesty, his degree of influence could easily be overstated, as it’s not the song writing that shows his presence; it’s merely the palette used to create Prochet’s effort. While the instrumentation and post-production on ‘Melody’s Echo Chamber’ sound similar to those on ‘Lonerism’, Prochet merely uses Parker’s colours to paint an entirely different picture: where Parker’s is one of crushing loneliness, Prochet’s is one of humming melancholy.

Sophisticated yet uncomplicated, misty yet vibrant, luxurious yet disquieting, ‘Melody’s Echo Chamber’ is a lovely record full of dualities. It is not a full-blown acid-trip that will open the doors of perception in one’s psyche; it is a chronicle of dark reminiscences of heartbreak being reflected on through a screen of purple haze.