Paris, France. Perth, Australia. Oxford, Mississippi. Three cities with little connecting them--other than Melody Prochet. So yes, you could say that the classically trained musician has circled the world in order to write, record, and release her debut self-titled solo album, under the moniker Melody's Echo Chamber.
But this story begins in Cavaliere, France, at her grandparents' beach house, where she recorded six demos and, many months later, would first speak with me over the phone about the evolution of her music. In a string of events that could only be imagined in a movie, Prochet approached Tame Impala's Kevin Parker one night after a show in Paris, the two instantly connected, and before long she was flying out to Perth to record a pop album bathed in psych-rock glow. "The album's creation was influenced by 84 hours of flight, a violent thermal shock, finding Orion in a different sky, endless theories about why French and Aussie crows sound so different, compressions explosions, shark fear, living with massive flying cockroaches, Australians and dreams of happiness," the Parisian explains.
You hear it from opening track "I Follow You," where Prochet's sultry coo wraps the echoing guitar lines and string harmonies like a hug, onward. For the musician, who previously recorded pop-heavy tracks in Paris, the globe-trotting experience helped shape her as an artist. "I've learned to know exactly how I want my music to sound like. I think I transmitted to Kevin a clear vision, so he could capture my dream-sound," she says, adding, "It was already in Kevin's spectrum of sound, of course, so it was not too hard to find it."
For someone who grew up studying the viola--and all the formal rules and boundaries that come with it--it's a far cry from classical. "When I started recording my own songs, I was kind of stuck in that restriction, and tended to not be extreme enough in sound or production or structure. I think at some point I had a click and I naturally ended up collaborating with someone with a rock'n'roll background to work as complementary opposites," explains Prochet.
But no matter how far this album--released by Mississippi's Fat Possum Records and out in September (you can pick up her 7" split, though, right now)--took her, in many ways it brings her right back where she began: by the beach. "Endless Shore," one of the standout tracks, indicates where Prochet's mind naturally goes. And when it comes to listening to the album, she promises that there's no better place than near the water. "Personally," she says, "I love listening to music sitting in the first wave of a quiet and warm sea."
REBECCA WILLA DAVIS
Required listening: "Crystallized", "You Won’t Be Missing That Part of Me", and "Endless Shore"
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