The Top 50 Albums Of 2012: #25 Melody’s Echo Chamber
Melody’s Echo Chamber ‘Melody’s Echo Chamber’ was listed at #25 in The Fly’s Top 50 Albums of 2012. Read the list here.
After her blisteringly successful 2012, Melody Prochet has a fairly blunt piece of advice for any grumpy musicians who moan about being bored in the studio or sat at the back of a tour bus for 13 hours.
“Basically, they shouldn’t do it then!” she snorts down the phone from her Paris flat (apparently the weather is terrible and she’s missing Los Angeles, where she’s just finished a US tour). Or, where possible, they should follow her lead and go and record in Australia, as she did earlier this year. Created with Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker in his house in Perth (Parker is also Melody’s boyfriend), her self-titled debut album is a crunchy, multi-textured and beautifully psychedelic trip through her various musical influences– she rattles through a list which includes Broadcast, Can, Debussy and Stereolab – that manages to turn distortion into something close to loveliness.
“The recording of the album has been the best experience of my life,” Melody trills when asked what the highlight of her year has been. “It was the most fun. Kevin is the laziest producer in the world. We’d record one thing in the morning and then hang out and then eventually at midnight come back to the studio and record some explosions of compressions.” For Melody, the album had already existed for ages in her head and while she knew she wanted to find “disorientating noises and textures” and needed to make “clouds of sounds”, it was all about finding the right person to make it a reality.
“I’d always dreamed of making a record that sounds like this record sounds,” she explains. So how did she translate this sonic vision to Parker? Did she use phrases like ‘this needs to sound more brown’ or ‘this needs to be a bit squelchy’?
“Well I know some more technical words,” she demurs. “I know pedal effects. I was always the one going ‘can we put the drums through the phaser [effects loop]?’ and he was like, ‘er, OK’. I’ve heard him say that he’s done things with me that he’d never do on his other projects.”
It was also in Perth that Melody suddenly realised that she wanted to sing some songs in French.
“I was in Australia for like a month and after a couple of weeks I was sick of hearing all this talk and they talk really fast and with a really strong accent and I think I just needed to connect to France,” she giggles. “I started doing some demo vocals and it came out in French and usually it comes in English. I think I needed to talk to myself. I was freer because maybe people there didn’t understand what I was saying and I was less self conscious.”
In fact, she can be so self-conscious that while the music was recorded in Australia, the vocals were recorded alone in France as things can get “quite hysterical” if it goes wrong. Doesn’t that cause a few problems with Melody’s live show?
“I’m really shy, so it’s been hard for a long time to play live, but after this year it’s totally changed. I’m transformed now and I think it’s because the audiences have been so enthusiastic and warm. I have fun onstage now and I can’t believe it really.”
It was during her recent US tour that her second most memorable part of 2012 occurred – in the back of a tour bus.
“During the US tour we had to drive from Seattle to Minneapolis in two days,” Melody explains, still sounding a little bit in awe of it all. “It was 30 hours of non-stop driving and we went through amazing mountains and lakes and deserts all in the same day, and that was intense and epic and fantastic. I can’t believe I saw all of that.”
Just before we hang up Melody explains that, in turn, this enthusiasm for being on the road has started to fuel songs for the second album.
“I’ve written about five new songs already. Even in the van in Dakota I was writing because it was really inspiring. But I don’t know when or how or with who. It’s not time yet.”