Melody Prochet’s self-titled debut as Melody’s Echo Chamber is layered with psychedelic audiowaves and celestial vocals – it’s basically a glorious oasis of dream-soaked Pop. We caught up with the Parisian artist to find out how it all fell into place, how she hooked up with Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, and where exactly she found those psychedelic tendencies.
Bowlegs: The album was released a few months back – what have you been doing since? Is it a whirlwind of tours and press right now or is it starting to calm a little?
Melody: We’ve been touring three weeks in the US. Also we had a few dates in Europe and a very special first headline show in London last week. Very emotional moment for us. I’ve been recording some new demos too, I just sent one to Kevin, who I worked with on this album, and he said it sounded like a song made by a 5-year-old disturbed kid. I think he meant that in a good way. Not sure what to think about it now. Ha!
Bowlegs: How did this musical rollercoaster start? Were you noticed in Paris? Were you with a band – singing alone? Has your life been turned upside in the last 12 months or so?
Melody: I’ve been recording and collaborating since the age of 17 but I think this record is a record in which i personally blossomed and really abandoned myself and deeply explored. Maybe people naturally felt that the record has some true love to give and it’s more obvious than in my previous recordings. In the last 12 months I’ve been traveling a lot and it’s what i love doing the most. I really love movement rather than stasis.
Bowlegs: Your debut single was Crystallized – is it hard to pick a song to be your introduction to the world?
Melody: Not really in the end. It was amazing because it was my personal favorite at that time but the label picked it out without my initial input.
Bowlegs: So how does a girl from Paris end up in Perth recording with Tame Impala’s Kevin Bishop? What stage were you at with the music when you hooked up for the recording sessions?
Melody: I had recorded like 7 demos at home with my silly Yamaha keyboard, drum machines viola and lots of delays..I played it to Kevin while touring Europe with my previous band and he thought it had something special and interesting and wanted to try produce it in his studio. He’d never really produced any other music other than his own and was used to working alone. I think maybe he needed to stand back from his own music a while and come back to it with a fresh vision again. Producing my record was kind of a fun recreation for him with absolutely no pressure and expectation. We both had lots of fun doing it.
Bowlegs: Was Kevin’s way of working radically different from your own? You’re a classically trained musician right? Was it a harmonious studio or were opinions clashing?
Melody: 100% harmonious! I learned a lot from recording with him and my vision of making music radically changed and it freed me. He made me realize that you can and should have fun while recording your music and that it doesn’t mean your music wont be emotional or have melancholy in it. As soon as he gets bored recording anything (usually after three takes..)he stops and goes to the beach, or hangs out with friends – or waters/floods his lawn for an hour doing all this nerd’s thinking. He’s a really inspiring person, there is always something crazy going on in his brain that keeps him excited. Sometimes it seems like he lives on another planet.
Bowlegs: Other parts of the record were recorded at your grandparent’s house in Cavalière. I’m guessing they weren’t there at the time? What sort of equipment were you using to record with – sounds like it was fairly DIY?
Melody: My grandparents died a long time ago but I feel like their spirits are still in the House and I loved them endlessy. So when I heard the house was being sold I just thought it would be my best way to remember it – by recording its spirit with my vocals. I also shot the video for I follow You there on the beach, I’ve gone there since I was born and it meant a lot. I only had a little Apogee, a mic and my computer to record myself.
Bowlegs: You’d never guess that the record was put down on opposite sides of the world – it all works together so well. Was that important to you? Were there songs that didn’t make the cut because they didn’t fit in?
Melody: Yeah I feel like the two places bonded really organically, I guess it’s because they were both very luminous places with lots of space around, Summery, salty and near the beach. I had a couple of other songs I really liked but we didn’t have the chance to finish it, but I didn’t miss them on the record. Maybe they’ll fit the next one maybe not.
Bowlegs: There is a real psychedelic feel to the record – and indeed your videos. What albums do you think inspired you – put you on the path to psychedlia?
Melody: It comes from loads of different places for me; music but also paintings, visions, movies and fantastic stories. but yeah I’ve listened to so much different music the last years.. for example I listened a lot to Ethiopian music; they have very jazzy hypnotic grooves and very emotional ways of singing. i love all the ethiopiques records. or also things like Moondog or Sun Ra..
Bowlegs: Do you have a personal favourite on your own record – if so what is it? Is there a special reason why it’s your fave?
Melody: Maybe Bisou Magique cause it’s the first time all the parts of the song came to me simultaneously even the lyrics in french! magical. I’m really excited about a video we’re thinking of doing to illustrate it with a friend.
Bowlegs: What’s the story behind Be Proud of your Kids? Were your parents behind your music career? Who is that speaking on the track?
Melody: It’s been tough for my parents to believe I’d make a living of music of course which is fair enough. it’s almost impossible. They’ve been really really worried until they realized that’s what keeps me happy and that i’d keep doing it anyway even if I have to sleep on my sister’s sofa (which i am soon). But I got a letter from my dad last week ending with’ I’m proud of you’ and that means the world to me. The little girl is a kid I was baby-sitting last year. She’s tripping the whole song, reciting a child’s poem I had learnt myself as a kid, and she ends with ‘I announce you that the radio is over’ I really liked ending the record on these words.
Bowlegs: Finally – what albums in 2012 have you been spinning on a regular basis?
Melody: I just discovered Mac DeMarco which is pretty cool, Lotus Plaza, Ty Segall, Freelove Fenner Ep, Grizzly bear, DIVV..