Melody’s Echo Chamber – Bon Voyage

Seven tracks of prismatic, palatial psychedelic pop.

Melody's Echo Chamber - Bon Voyage

Seven tracks of prismatic, palatial psychedelic pop.

Label: Domino
Released: 15th June 2018
Rating: ★★★

Melody’s Echo Chamber, or Melody Prochet, is trying to tell us something. On new album, ‘Bon Voyage’, her first since 2012’s self-titled debut, Prochet offers seven tracks of prismatic, palatial psychedelic pop. Dripping in pensivity and personality, it’s imperative to dig deep into the record’s seven songs, but ‘Bon Voyage’ makes it easy. A kick in the face to the accident Prochet suffered last year, which pushed back the album’s release to 2018, ‘Bon Voyage’ does its wait justice.

The sonic equivalent to glass bottles filled with coloured sand, album opener ‘Cross My Heart’ is proud kaleidoscopic pop. Bringing Prochet’s lyrics into both English and French, ‘Cross My Heart’ is enchanting and elastic, with the instant mysticism of the music bewitching its audience.

In some places the ruminating pain of the tracks is difficult to listen to, notably the third track ‘Desert House’; it feels claustrophobic, too intimate, too private to believe that we have been allowed entrance to this cavern of suffering. It is the non-structure of the song, with elements of beatboxing, layers of shouting, whisper-like vocals concealed within layers of Ayurvedic instrumentals, that make it almost unlistenable. But not in any way other than enchantingly, it’s a masquerade of a song, a cry for help.

As the record continues, the eclecticism becomes clearer. No two tracks remotely resemble one another, with sections inspired by music from all reaches of the world. ‘Visions’ samples Turkish folk in some sections, European electronica in others, retro synth in others. While the individual changeability of each track can result in a blurring of sounds and songs, Prochet’s soft, dreamlike vocals are the veins pumping life into the disarray of the instrumentals. Even so, this is not a disarray that is anything other than illuminating and educating.

A wait well worth it, ‘Bon Voyage’ builds upon the creative chaos of Melody’s Echo Chamber’s 2012 debut, like a mystical monster with an unforgiving bite. Erin Bashford

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