Melody Prochet fans will often admit they discovered the French songstress through Kevin Parker of Tame Impala. Parker produced Prochet’s band’s eponymous debut album in 2012, infusing the tracks with his well-known psychedelic influence. News of a new record by Melody’s Echo Chamber titled Bon Voyage (coming out this Spring) has been the subject of nervous reception due to Parker no longer working with the band. Apprehension is understandable—we have every right to contextualize music by understanding an artist’s past work and affiliations. All that aside, a song should be reviewed based on its merits.
“Cross My Heart” is an indulgent psych rock journey written and produced by Melody Prochet and her new bandmates Reine Fiske and Gustav Ejstes. Somewhere within the song’s seven minutes there is a three minute psych-pop anthem. Unfortunately, throughout the lengthy seven minutes the song gets away from itself, meanders and loses impact. Elements like an unexpected electronic breakdown and an extended flute solo could have enhanced the composition, but instead take away from it by not being concise enough.
Aside from its untamed moments, “Cross My Heart” is lush, vibrant and expertly played, moving beyond the band’s past work while honouring their original style. Regarding the Tame Impala bias, “Cross My Heart” does indeed sound different from the work Kevin Parker produced—not bad, but different. This is enough to influence one’s opinion, but most who have come to enjoy Melody’s work will most likely still enjoy her and the new band. The release of Bon Voyage this spring is an exciting event for modern psych-lovers and however it holds up is a must-listen this season.