Melody’s Echo Chamber on ‘Emotional Eternal’: “We found the sound of a new otherworld”
In the four years since her last album, Melody Prochet — the visionary behind Melody’s Echo Chamber — has undergone a slow dawning of peace. That life-altering shift is one whose effects ripple through her new record, Emotional Eternal, out today.
Brimming with meditative musings and an ever-present tranquility, the eight tracks radiate joy from front to back. Equally, they echo the sound of resilience, as Prochet admits that, for a time, she couldn’t see herself making another album after 2018’s Bon Voyage. Circumstances changed once she gave birth to her daughter and reconnected with music after being separated from her for a night. That time in Stockholm, where she created the album's first song “Alma_The Voyage,” is the nucleus of Emotional Eternal. Her musical confidantes, returning producers Reine Fiske (Dungen, the Amazing) and Lars Fredrik Swahn (The Amazing), back her up along the way.
“I think we found the sound of a new otherworld for us in this record, especially on one of my favorite moments on ‘The Hypnotist’ with the whales and dolphins soundscapes or the sonic transcendency momentum that hint at the eternal on the voyage,” she says.
One of the record’s most alluring features is its reliance on groove, which takes the songs from dazed meditations to mind-bending triumphs. Prochet says she was thinking of Rotary Connection’s “I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun,” a song that Fiske played her once, and the vibrations of Can’s “Vitamin C.” “Both feel like absolute groove, and the first one sounds like pure love,” she notes. “It can just awake me from numbness in a second. It’s so special.” Additionally, Prochet took inspiration from Sigur Rós, Stereolab and Broadcast, whose music helped complete her vision.
To celebrate the release, Prochet delved into the making of her mesmeric new album, the pleasures of “extraordinary ordinary living” and the magic of motherhood.
Congratulations on Emotional Eternal! The record feels fluid and hypnotic overtop a less is more approach. There’s also a ton of great groove throughout the songs, particularly “Where The Water Clears The Illusion” and “Looking Backward.” What drew you in this direction?
After Bon Voyage’s delirium, I felt the need to sit in silence for a year or so, but while I didn’t listen to any music or play music, there was ambient, meditative theta waves kind of music played at home, so I guess you can hear there’s a seed of spiritual or more silent landscapes music growing in the record. I think it’s airier, but the old well of grooves is still there dancing in Reine’s, Swahn’s and my own cells. We definitely gave drums and bass special attention and guided the session in the idea of simplicity, naturally.
The album radiates joy and love from front to back. It also feels like there’s a theme of perseverance.
I’m so happy if the record reflects that. It was a joyful process, and there was an equilibrium being found. I guess it does evoke emotions like perseverance, in an organic way, and circularity of life. The record sounds a bit like a slow dawning of peace or the beginning of a happy denouement. Someone said about it that the tempestuousness of my past is still there in an undercurrent that bubbles below the surface. I thought that was kind of a great way to put into words.
You’re back working with producers Reine Fiske and Fredrik Swahn on Emotional Eternal. I imagine they’re great mentors and collaborators. What do you admire about them?
I think getting reunited with Reine Fiske and Lars Fredrik Swahn in the studio in Stockholm was the best part of the process and such a joyful surprise because I didn’t think I’d make another record after Bon Voyage. Swahn is a great spirit; he has this extreme optimistic, welcoming, warm and fun persona. He’s also a studio nerd with incredible capacities in soundscaping explorations, and Reine is an old soul I deeply connect to. He is a treasure chest of beautiful musical oddities, as he is known for his incredible record collection, and he is a virtuoso with humbleness and self-doubt also, which allows me to do what I do best: chasing butterflies. We work in a triangular way complementing each other. They’ve put incredible amount of positive energy in this record.
“Alma_The Voyage” speaks to how lucky and proud you feel to be a parent. What’s been the most rewarding part of motherhood thus far?
“Alma” was the first song to arise since Bon Voyage. This song is a butterfly; it feels more like a little love poem to my daughter and to life than a song to me. I remember this incredible feeling as a mother that only my presence, no kind of special act or skill, was enough for her to feel soothed and evolve in that bubble of pure love we were both in at that time. That was the most magical love feeling I’d ever felt — that purity! The song triggered the whole mechanic of the musical spiral. It revealed [itself] during my first night separated from my daughter. It was a cathartic momentum. Turning the release of emotional overflow into creation felt like a purification; maybe it resembles a spiritual experience.
A song like “A Slow Dawning of Peace” sounds like you’re grateful for everything around you. How do you stay mindful and present? For example, do you have any daily routines that keep you grounded?
That song maybe sounds like an “ode to the living.” It reflects about paying attention to the environment but also to some personal messages. You know, for example, I remember my whole body screaming at me with stress. I eventually chose to pay attention and heard the things to change because I was out of phase with my nature. It’s about coming back from dark waters and [being] willing to embrace the rest of this vivid walk to the unknown with more lightness, less fear, or at least try. It does take time and failures, and it’s always in motion.
The one absolutely life-changing thing for me was moving to the place I live now, surrounded by great spaces of virgin nature, having my feet touch the dirt to ground myself into an ordinary reality. I need to work a regular job and study things I’m passionate about to feed my brain, and I can cultivate my own poetry in secrecy. I love that sort of extraordinary ordinary living. It’s not something that was natural; it needed some mindset work.
The album is a whole journey in and of itself. What’s a place you want to visit sometime in the future and why?
Yes, it kind of sounds like the journey of a soul’s piece of lifetime in some distorted landscapes that don’t exist. I don’t know [if] I love being where I am now, but movement is good, so I think I’ll go to Cambodge to visit the temples that have been taken back by nature, Vietnam and China to visit an old ginkgo [tree] I saw in a documentary, but I’ll follow my partner as I am not a leader in exploring the real world. I treasure the experience, though. We recently went to Egypt with my family, and I got to walk in the pyramids. I had written the “Pyramids In The Clouds” story last year, and I had no idea I would go there. That was a strange vision anticipation.
Lastly, what would you hope to be reincarnated as and why?
A tree in a primary forest. There is a special video that was made for “Personal Message” by David Corfield, and he said something inspiring about trees: “On the surface, a forest can seem like a collection of individuals, but below ground they are united. A forest is a system that flourishes through sharing.”
Melody’s Echo Chamber appeared in issue 405, available here.