BEST OF 2012: 26. Melody’s Echo Chamber – Melody’s Echo Chamber

My experiences with this chiming, glistening, jangling beauty of an album are largely linked to various record shops. Firstly, it was via one of the tips offs that you only really get from indie stores that I even knew this existed. The good folk at Rise in Bristol let me have a listen to the promo and I was immediately smitten. “Produced by the guy from Tame Impala” was enough to perk up the critical radar, but any attention it may be gleaning off the back of such associations is irrelevant as it more than deserves to stand on its own. That said, whilst stood at the counter in Spillers in Cardiff, slurping strong tea and muttering about fatuous deluxe editions of albums, a chap approached with a copy of ‘Lonerism’ and before I could remind myself that I don’t actually work in a record shop I chirped up that he should get Melody’s Echo Chamber if that was his sort of thing. Next thing you know, it was added to his pile. I do hope he liked it.

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The rough-edged, woozy pop psychedelia and floaty strains of Melody Prochet’s vocal on this tremendous debut, for Domino offshoot Weird World, make for an addictive cocktail. The fuzzy, pulsing energy coursing through it creates a very definite sound on an album which repays repeated listens and needs a bit of volume to truly seduce the floaty, squidgy bit of your brain that gets all hung up on dreamy indie music. Get it on vinyl, crank it up and remember when you used to be young.

The looped, heel-dragging drum pattern at the start of ‘You Won’t Be Missing That Part Of Me’ seems naggingly familiar, before blossoming into something no Stereolab fan could resist. Singles ‘I Follow You’ and ‘Crystallized’ do a pretty decent job of capturing the competing forces at work on this record, but nowhere is the kaleidoscopic sixties sheen more effective than on ‘Some Time Alone, Alone’. Prochet’s vocals are at risk of being swallowed by the stomping backdrop on a track which possesses that insistent, driving sound so typical on classic mono recordings. Whether you’re a fan of vintage girl-group pop or Stereolab obsessive, a Tame Impala devotee or simply somone who likes a good tune, you’ll find much to love on this quietly released stormer.

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