New French wave: Melody’s Echo Chamber
Moodoïd, Melody and the Echo Chamber, La Femme, Frànçois and the Atlas Mountains... Immortalized by Hedi Slimane, these four bands are riding the crest of an exciting new French music wave. Numéro met up with Melody Prochet of Melody Echo’s Chamber.
If there’s one outstanding girl on the scene, it’s Melody Prochet. After 12 years studying at a music conservatory near Aix-en-Provence, the now 28-year-old ditched her classical roots to “go up to Paris” when she was 18. Just after releasing her first disc, chance took her to a concert given by an Australian group – Tame Impala. It was love at first sight, as much with the music as with Kevin Parker, the band’s lead singer. She left Europe with him for Perth, and made a new album under the name Melody’s Echo Chamber. It’s perhaps the most consistent album of the four, the most focused on an idea and on a genre – psychedelic animism Tame Impala-style, of course.
It was an epiphany. “Kevin obviously influenced my music and my creative methods. I tended to theorize, to use very complex harmonies because of my classical background. Kevin helped me free myself from that, and achieve a certain lightness.”
These days Melody is ready for the “second stage of fulfilment” with her second album.
Numéro : How did the group get started?
Melody Prochet : Everything began at a Tame Impala concert [an Australian neo-psychedelic band] at the Nouveau Casino a few years back. I got talking to Kevin Parker [Tame Impala’s guitarist and lead singer] and it was love at first sight. I went back with him to Perth for a while, and we began working on a few melodies. I was able to open myself up to infinite possibilities, in these huge landscapes that surrounded us. We were free. We were living in a house full of creative people who wandered about barefoot and spent their days drinking and smoking. We could allow ourselves to spend an hour on our music and then go to the beach for the rest of the day. The first album came out in 2012. Back in Paris, I have various people in the group including Pablo Padovani [of Moodoïd], who’s been my guitarist since the beginning.
What are your influences?
My earliest influences come from my family: my father was the bassist in an Italian rock group in the 70s, my brother, who played the synthesizer, introduced me to Vangelis and Jean-Michel Jarre, while my sister and my mother got me into Michael Jackson and classical music. After that, when I got to Paris, I discovered groups like Blonde Redhair and Broadcast, as well as krautrock. I’m classically trained, but now my music has become more experimental.
How’s your second album coming along?
I spent a lot of time working alone, but that didn’t really suit me. So I rented a big house this summer in the middle of the Norman countryside to compose the album with Pablo and the band. It’s an experiment. I want to see what we’re capable of doing in the middle of the fields in this beautiful house. I think it’s the best way to move forward in a fluid way – as a community. There’s a lot of pressure in today’s world, but I prefer to compose at my own pace. I don’t want music to become just a job.
Interview by Thibaut Wychowanok