After a whirlwind tour of the USA supporting The Raveonettes, Melody Prochet is happy to be home in Paris.
Although, after just one show back on home soil, the 25-year-old songstress and maker of dreamy psychedelia misses the feeling drawn from a live foreign audience.
“The tour [with The Raveonettes] was so much fun, an incredible road trip,” Prochet giggles, perhaps hinting at a possible pun. “But I played a show last night, here in Paris, and it was just the complete opposite. It made me feel so sad afterward. Nobody clapped, not even in between the songs or anything! It was so awkward… Almost rude, even.”
She laments further, on perhaps the worst part of all, “Nobody danced! Nobody! I dance, though, up on stage. But I’m all alone!”
Prochet is the voice behind the once mysterious release, “Crystallized”, which came originally came out to under the nom de plume, Melody’s Echo Chamber, early in 2012. It quickly captured the ears and imagination of the wider music firmament, with NME thrusting it to the #16 on their list of the Top 50 albums of the year.
Swathed in analogue synths and rolling, trippy rhythms, may sound familiar, particularly to Australian ears.
Produced by Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, Prochet’s self-titled debut album, carries the distinct air of psychedelic rock the frontman has successfully plucked from another era and into the 21st century.
Although much of the album was recorded in Parker’s home studio in Perth, Prochet’s tour of the US last year was one of the first instances that her collection of songs was played live.“Kevin [Parker] told me, ‘Look, shit’s gonna happen. Your laptop will break, your keyboards will break, and you’ve just got to go with it’.”
“America was just incredible. Everyone is really supportive. I was expecting it to be like, ‘no, boo’!” she humbly laughs, “But no, everyone really got into it. Even with the language (the album has a few songs in her native tongue), it felt so easy. I don’t know why or how! Maybe it’s just the French.”
Prochet agrees that if the audience can’t understand her, there’s nothing wrong with imagining your own story to the music. “It’s what I love about this whole thing. Some of my lyrics are very personal as well – a lot of it is about love. So I can protect myself, in a way, with another language. But we are quite suggestive [in French] anyway!” she laughs.
The imagery which Melody’s Echo Chamber conjures will range far and wide for the individual but Prochet has managed to capture a beautiful story for the track, “I Follow You” in its accompanying film clip.
It was supposed to be a holiday with best friend Laurie Lasalle (who, incidentally, is the director) but the two girls ended up on an underwater adventure at Prochet’s family home in the South of France to spectacularly colourful results.
“We just wanted something to go with the music; to create something just as trippy and hallucinogenic. It’s just us,” explains the singer. “We wanted our personalities to be a part of it and they are; our personalities are there. It’s very fun but it’s also a very meaningful video for me.”
The final product is a flawless example of how a clip can come together in a perfect marriage of sonic and visual. While it’s as layered in its details as the rest of songs on Prochet’s eponymous debut, there is still some work to be done to translate some of the beautiful layers from the album to the stage.
“At the moment, it’s quite easy because I can record any or all of what is needed onto a sampler. But I want to change this. I want to be more spontaneous. At the moment I have friends playing with me on stage but the drums are all recorded. I press play on them until I find someone as good as…” Prochet begins to say before starting again:
“Kevin [Parker] is the best bass player, the best drummer I have met, ever, but everybody is on tour so unfortunately he can’t play with me live!”“Will Melody’s Echo Chamber stick around? I think so… I already can’t wait to start recording again.”
By ‘everybody’, Melody means both Tame Impala and brother band Pond (who she lived with in Perth while recording) who are extremely busy in their own rights, but Parker proved more than just a producer on Prochet’s album.
“Kevin is a guru!” she laughs again. “He was a great help in this way. Because in the end, the most important thing is that we’re having fun. Kevin told me, ‘Look, shit’s gonna happen. Your laptop will break, your keyboards will break, and you’ve just got to go with it’.” Prochet imitates frankly.
“Shows can be stressful at times but I am making myself think more in this way, like Kevin’s mentality,” she adds.
Though the young musician has been gigging around the Paris music scene in many bands and under different names, she can’t explain how she feels to be in the position she is in today.
“I feel so… How do you say the word? I guess, I feel incredibly lucky, is the simplest way to say. Because I always am thinking about my friends here, still playing to blank faces, trying to make it. It’s very, very difficult.”
After so many changes, however, Melody is ready to settle.
“Will Melody’s Echo Chamber stick around? I think so,” the musician decides. “I already can’t wait to start recording again. I’ve come to this point where I am very happy, very happy and if I can’t draw inspiration from Kevin, like if I can’t work with him next time, or with the boys from Pond, then hopefully I will find someone else equally inspiring to work with.”
The future is promising for Melody’s Echo Chamber, including a return trip to Australia for some shows in 2013.
“We’re planning it. It’s very expensive to come – but with no drummer it might be a little cheaper!” she laughs at the bright side. “Who knows – maybe we can do one show with the boys as the band; I would love that!” One gets the feeling she’s not the only one sharing that sentiment.
Melody’s Echo Chamber is out now through Shock/Fat Possum records.