So I’ve just returned from my first trip to New York in over four years, the longest absence in almost 20 years. And with a three-year old at home, you know it’d have to be a pretty good reason to get away, even if just for a weekend, and it was – Melody’s Echo Chamber live.
When she announced a tour back in 2017 in support of her then-forthcoming Bon Voyage, I had considered making the trip to Brooklyn for it but not long after that announcement, the tour was canceled on account of the serious accident that derailed her entire life. Bon Voyage was delayed until 2018, and even then fans felt fortunate that Melody Prochet was alright and that the record even came out, never mind any kind of tours to support. But then came last year’s magnificent Emotional Eternal, proving Prochet wasn’t done with music, and a handful of dates across the planet. Taking nothing for granted, I got tickets for the first Music Hall of Williamsburg show – a second was announced after the first sold out – and waited.
And truly, it was worth both the wait and the trip. For someone who plays so infrequently, she has assembled a crack band consisting of longtime guitarist Jérôme Pichon and, I believe, several members of Swedish psych-rockers Dungen and they sound marvellous together. Further, her voice is as pitch-perfect live as on record, honestly not something I’d expected.
The set list covered all four records, including the Unfold mini-album, but I’d argue the centerpiece of the show was their reading of “Crystallized”; her first single and introduction to the world, now expanded to an epic guitar jam that certainly does it for me. Consider the original video from 2012:
Through a live session recorded for The Line Of Best Fit in 2013:
And the almost nine-minute freakout it has evolved into, shown here in a fan recording from their gig at London’s Scala last month. So good.
Melody’s Echo Chamber has one more North American date at the end of the month at Austin Psych Fest in Texas. I’m not saying you should drop everything and go see her there… but I am saying that if you did, you wouldn’t be disappointed.