Melody Prochet disappeared in 2017. She suffered an accident, a brain aneurysm and broken spine. With Bon Voyage she's returned.
Opener ‘Cross My Heart’ might mask it with a whimsical and devotional tone, but this record is resting on the precipice of an overwhelming fear seeping between clouds of enveloping hopelessness. It’s underlaced with an irrevocable trauma.
‘Breathe In, Breathe’ circles with intensity. For all the experimental leanings and instrumental breaks, it captures an artist stirring in the depth of thought. Freak-outs punctuate a journey to the edge of personal apocalypse. She’s burning out her fuse in outer space, an emotional firestorm of unmatched ferocity.
Members and fellow travellers Dungen are on hand as collaborators. Pond’s Nick Allbrook too. While Melody’s self-titled debut carried by the sound of Tame Impala (for reasons obvious) here Amazing’s Fredrik Swahn and Dungen's Reine Fiske oversee production. Prochet slips into the alchemy between with these two Swedish contemporaries with natural ease.
‘Desert Horse’ sees breathy vocals caught in a joyous uplift. From here the album plays into its groove. The world may have moved on since the last time this artist recorded but Psychedelia isn’t Melody Prochet’s sound, it’s her religion. While most contemporaries graze its surface for inspiration she plunges into its beating heart. It’s here she captures its essence with a beguiling oddness entirely her own.
This music sketches the experience of rebuilding a shattered body and a shaken soul. Healing surrealism comes tempered by slivers of honest confession and feeling. Coursing with blistering sonics it strides across the emotional contours of cosmic expanse. Revelling in a distorted sense of time ‘Shrim’ – previously released as a single pre-accident - closes. Birth in reverse.
Even from bitter tragedy good can spring. There’s a thematic sense of destruction which flows along this artist’s narrative and her second record again draws new life from the fallout of the past. It’s here she finds transcendence, drifting into something truly euphoric.
The few words Melody has shared about her new record suggest her future output may remain sparse. But then again it could just be that European sense of fatalism. Whatever the eventuality Bon Voyage suggests that crisis illuminates perspective. The sun sets but the stars come out, sparkling with their own mesmeric haze.
Words by Riley Fitzgerald