Paul Lester 

Melody’s Echo Chamber (No 1,343)

This French singer-songwriter is in thrall to the Beatles, sunshine pop and French melody
  
  

Hometown: Paris.

The lineup: Melody Prochet (vocals, instruments).

The background: One of the albums being talked up as an autumn highlight is the forthcoming one by Tame Impala, which is said to be influenced by Todd Rundgren's A Wizard, A True Star – the Runt has even remixed one of TI's tracks, further evidence of the continued deification from the younger generation of His Toddlike Genius. Obviously Impala mainman Kevin Parker is on something of a roll right now because he also found time to work, over in his home town of Perth, on the self-titled debut album by Parisian girl wonder Melody Prochet, a classically trained singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who operates as Melody's Echo Chamber. Prochet, not to be confused with Gardot, finished the record herself at her grandparents' beach house in Cavalière in France, but the fact is, Parker's imprint is all over MEC, giving it a surface dazzle and cosmic effervescence that is very AWATS.

It's also heavily influenced by krautrock, space-rock, dream-pop, electronica and shoegaze. We decided the music on the tracks by yesterday's 19-year-old rapper from New York, Dominic Lord, could have resulted from the studio sorcery of Cocteau Twins' Robin Guthrie, and we're going to say the same thing about today's twentysomething French musician. The fact is, in a lot of instances, Prochet could sing over Lord's tracks, while he could rap over hers. How did that happen? Maybe Treasure, without us realising, was big in Harlem and Paris in the 90s. We don't make the rules, we're just reporting on the action.

Anyway, Melody's Echo Chamber is a fine record indeed. Throughout, Prochet doesn't so much sing as coo, a coup for those of us allergic to over-emoting. As a songwriter she appears to be in thrall to the Beatles, sunshine pop and French melody. The single I Follow You is as pretty as one of those mid-60s melodies so beloved of St Etienne, while the production is less lush than Lush. Crystallized sounds like the work of a shoegaze Beatles, with a bass wig-out at the end. You Won't Be Missing That Part of Me is lovely, even if the title begs the question: Why? Has she had it surgically removed and placed in his suitcase? Some Time Alone, Alone is also great. Powered by a fuzzy guitar riff and a gorgeous counter-motif, it induces ecstasies of ecclesiastical evanescence. It really does. Snowcapped Andes Crash is a detour into 60s cool-jazz territory and Be Proud of Your Kids is a feast of celestial sonics and wispy, whispery vocals. We have no idea what Prochet is singing about, whether in English or French (she alternates), but then, as she says, that just allows her to get away with what might be lyrical murder. "I've listened to so much English music, and you are able to sing more ridiculous things in English," she says, possibly thinking of Champagne Supernova by Oasis. Still, who cares when there is so much bubble and fizz to focus on.

The buzz: "Kaleidoscopic fusion of psych rock and warm, hypnotic pop."

The truth: MEC: classic French pop via the Thames Valley.

Most likely to: Hiccup sugar.

Least likely to: Work with Mel C.

What to buy: The eponymous debut album is released through Weird World on 5 November.

File next to: Cocteau Twins, Todd Rundgren, Lush, Tame Impala.

Links: facebook.com/MelodysEchoChamber

Wednesday's new band: Fidlar.

 

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