Melody’s Echo Chamber is a project of French indie musician Melody Prochet. She has so far released a single self-titled album in 2012 and is working on another one to tentatively be released before the end of the year. The style of music she performs is closest to dream pop, which is characterized by dense, often guitar-driven background music and ethereal, almost whispery vocals. She sings in both English and French, and typically will stick to one language throughout a song. The members of The Montclarion went to performance of hers of Aug. 25, 2015 at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, N.Y., it was originally scheduled for May 12, but had to be rescheduled due to an issue with her visa.
The band she was performing with consisted of a lead guitarist, a rhythm guitarist/keyboardist, a bassist and a drummer. Prochet herself played keys here and there as well. When she wasn’t playing keys, she was singing and dancing. Her dancing alternated between ‘60s psychedelic arm movements and jumping while flailing her head. Audience members were encouraged to dance, but the cramped environment of the standing room proved limiting when it came to dancing. Fog and colored lighting filled the stage throughout the show, contributing to the dreamy environment Prochet sought to compliment her sound.
The sound of the group was crisp and clean, yet noisy and dense at the same time. The guitars were drenched in a number of effects, including echo, distortion, tremolo, Leslie speaker emulation and even wah-wah at one point. Synth sounds of the performance echoed both vintage analog sounds of the ‘70s and digital piano sounds of the ‘80s and also took a turn for more modern eerie and ethereal tones at times. Prochet was the sole vocalist of the performance and expertly delivered the vocals on each song. Her performance resembled the singing on her 2012 album as well as I could remember it off-hand.
The band was incredibly tight overall. One of the songs performed during the night ended with a krautrock-esque extended jam that concluded with a drum solo. The only moment of awkward musicianship came at the start of one of the songs when the keyboardist played a bit of the song, hit an abrupt chord and then continued into the song’s intro. I assume he was more testing the audio level of the synth or something than messing up, though.
The concert did not last particularly long. The Montclarion arrived around 9 p.m. (an hour after the doors opened and also most likely not too long after the opening act finished), and Prochet’s group started at about 9:30 p.m. and finished at about 11:15 p.m. This is understandable given that Prochet has only released one album and one single under this project. I am sure the addition of a cover of a fellow French singer’s tune and the extended jam were a necessity given she mined her entire short catalog to fill out the set.
Overall, the performance was very riveting and exciting, yet suitably dreamy at the same time. It certainly lived up to the cost of admission as well, which was about $21.75 per ticket. The next time Melody’s Echo Chamber is in the area, give them a listen. You’ll be enchanted and enthralled and come out with a richer cultural palette along with more indie cred.