Tuesday, 11 December 2012

A new French wave: Melody's Echo Chamber

First published in Loud And Quiet

Melody's Echo Chamber
Melody's Echo Chamber
Weird World
Out 5th November

As a classically trained multi-instrumentalist and singer from Paris, it's no huge surprise to hear shades of Stereolab's Lætitia Sadier all over Melody Prochet's accomplished debut record of delicate psychedelia, intricate melodies and all manner of fuzzy and frazzled twists and turns. Opening track and recent single 'I Follow You' sets the tone for an album of clever pop that never sounds like it's trying to be clever – close attention has been paid to knitting textures and tones together so you barely hear the joins, as softly distorted low-end sounds melt into buzzing guitars, twinkly synth echoes and Prochet's own husky and inviting voice.

Bringing in Tame Impala's Kevin Parker as producer was a wise move, adding some well-placed dirt and grime and plenty of chunky bass and beats to Melody's feminine sweetness. 'Mount Hopeless' introduces scuffed up breakbeat drums under a gorgeous duet of voices and winding guitar, while 'Crystallized' is a breezy motorik groove that owes a heavy debt to Broadcast, a band Prochet must be familiar with. 'Some Time Alone, Alone' has another sneakily addictive melody buried under wall of sound drums and twangy guitar, but its gentle strangeness prevents it from sounding like sickly retromania. An accomplished debut and a deeply satisfying listen, if collages of bleached out hypno-melodicism are your jam.

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