Melody’s Echo Chamber, Melody’s Echo Chamber
The most literal dream-pop album of the year
Melody’s Echo Chamber has delivered the most literal dream-pop album of the year on face value alone: The band’s name came to Paris-based singer and songwriter Melody Prochet in a dream, and the album itself reverberates with psychedelic-pop influences. Furthermore, Prochet wrote these songs at her grandmother’s home in the south of France – an actual Beach House on the real Best Coast. Produced by Prochet’s boyfriend/Tame Impala leader Kevin Parker and featuring backing instrumentation from members of his Australian psych-rock outfit, Melody’s Echo Chamber initially seems to live up to its sounding-board imperative. It’s easy to ferret out the Spacemen 3 simplicity and static bursts on “Crystallized,” the bright, girl-group chorus and Bandwagonesque outro guitar shredding of opener “I’ll Follow You,” or the Stereolab-quality vintage-organ loops of “Quand Vas Tu Rentrer?” (Prochet sings in both English and French). But the album gets denser and weirder as it progresses, Prochet’s high-pitched vocals sounding ever more little-girl-lost among the tone-bending synths of “Mount Hopeless” and backwards-tracked “IsThatWhatYouSaid.” Final track “Be Proud Of Your Kids” is a bridge too far, however, as it violates the unspoken agreement between rock musician and listener that the sound of children babbling should not be put to tape. Listening through the rabbit hole to consider the album in its kaleidoscopic entirety, a strong signal bounces back: The style of music Blonde Redhead began experimenting with on 2004′s Misery Is A Butterfly – arty synth pop that is delicate but not too femme, airy and romantic but not overglossed – is effortlessly realized here. Call it a cocoon, an echo chamber or an education, but Melody Prochet has emerged fully formed on this debut.