A graceful waltz through psychedelia
Melody’s Echo Chamber is the solo project of French musician Melody Prochet. Her self-titled debut album was released in 2012 and left many anxiously and excitedly awaiting further releases. To work on her next album, Prochet relocated to Sweden with The Amazing’s Fredrik Swahn and Dungen’s Reine Fiske. The three worked on the album together and came up with a dreamy musical story which perfectly fits its background and origin. Fans’ five-year wait appeared to be over in 2017 when Prochet announced her sophomore album, which was slated to be released that same year. However, a severe accident put this release on hold and left Prochet in the hospital for months. After over a year of mental, spiritual and physical recovery, Prochet introduces the world to Bon Voyage.
The seven tracks on Bon Voyage do exactly what they are meant to. They individually stand out and serve a unique musical purpose, but also work perfectly together like parts of a well-oiled machine. The setting that Prochet wrote this album in translates over into the music; it’s refreshing and enchanting. The psychedelic nature of the music also stays true to Prochet’s signature sound and represents the influence of her musical partners.
Prochet shows off every ounce of her talent on the seven-minute opener, “Cross My Heart,” which starts the album off with a folk-rock tune until heavy drums kick in. Her voice is raspy and soft as she sings, “This is the promise to my heart / I can’t keep falling from so high / All the oceans keeping us apart / And the seasons passing by / And I’m still sad.”
Following the second chorus, an eclectic mix of flute, psychedelic percussion and hip-hop beats jumps in and serves as a transition to the second act of the track, a jazzy tune accompanied by Prochet beautifully singing in French. The intensity dies down during a short instrumental interlude before picking back up in the third act. Heavy guitar and drums carry the final 90 seconds of the song. Despite the expansive array of instruments, genres and languages that “Cross My Heart” transcends, it isn’t disjointed or chaotic; the song is perfectly pieced together, flows naturally and is the perfect pick for a first track.
Artists often use music as a sort of personal diary to showcase their personal struggles, feelings and pain. Bon Voyage is a perfect example of that mantra. The album explores the heaviness of life, often paired with tunes that ooze fantasy and fun. On “Breathe In, Breathe Out,” Prochet’s angelic vocals sing of feeling lost with lyrics like, “I can’t eat, I can’t grow / I can’t heal my soul,” but she continues to fight to crawl out of that hole: “Let myself find out there’s more / Let my heart find out there’s more.” The dreamy rock tune doesn’t match the haunting lyrics though, as upbeat drum and guitar keep the song feeling light.
The third track, “Desert Horse,” is the most jaw-dropping and bizarre track. The decadent song has no true format and showcases Prochet’s raw energy without confinement. The track is drenched in layers of miscellaneous synthetic sounds, screams and robotic voices, but, once again, the funky track is juxtaposed with dark lyrics. Prochet delicately half-whispers, “I know I was better alone / So much blood on my hands / And not much left to destroy / I know I am better alone.”
The short “Var Har Du Vat” lands a spot directly in the middle of the tracklist. Prochet sings the interlude style song entirely in Swedish, and her vocals are accompanied by not much more than organic guitar. “Quand Les Larmes D’un Ange Font Danser La Neige” is the longest track on the album, weighing in at slightly over seven minutes. The song, like many of the others, is sung in both French and English in Prochet’s enchanting, sultry voice. The drum-heavy tune is melancholy while still being upbeat and sprinkled with futuristic, cosmic details. “Vision of Someone Special” is ethereal and laced with elements of ancient Japanese music. The final track “Shirim” features an understated, groovy beat with Prochet’s distant vocals, eventually closing off the album with an extensive collection of guitar riffs.
Bon Voyage is the musical manifestation of Prochet’s natural talent, energy and weirdness. The album is graceful and delicate while also being intense and dark. Not only does Prochet impressively piece together a wide range of sounds into one cohesive album, but the collection improves with every listen.