Review Summary: it's like eating all five skittles at once
It always felt like Melody was hiding something on her first self-titled release and Bon Voyage
only further proves this theory of mine. After an album so personal lyrically yet extremely fraudulent in style (to be fair Kevin Parker of Tame Impala produced it, hence the obvious similarities), it’s almost as if Melody Prochet has flipped the previous dualities on their heads. Musically, there’s really no way to generalize any of the sounds on this album, which I think is inherently a good thing to say about an artist previously so indebted. I’ll attempt to sum it up anyway; it’s an aural adventure into chamber psych, constantly defying any and all genre tropes while also remaining intrinsically soft and comfortable within a faded pink mist, exhaled with an enchanting delicacy. Analogies aside, this thing twists and turns. Almost every track diverges into multi-colored twine and Prochet seems incredibly comfortable leaving it unwound while she stitches everything together. I realize I’m contradicting myself a bit here, I just find it hard to describe an album that feels so organic and united in spirit, yet so plunderphonics in structure and encompassing in influences. Bits of any and every genre are thrown into the mix as there’s even a Black Sabbath riff, copy and pasted right into the center of the standout single ‘Desert Horse’.
Let’s rewind though. The aforementioned song chiefly blasts a reverberated synth before allowing for a driving bassline and Melody’s own breathy voice to enter shortly after. Not even 30 seconds later other layers are added, as seen with the extremely melodically pleasing strings and a chipmunk-esque autotuned vocal line. Instruments cut in and out seemingly at will, and soon enough so does the percussion, leaving Melody to hesitantly state: “I know I am better alone
”. Yet instead of inviting the live sounding percussion back into the mix, it’s quickly substituted for a triplet clicking hi-hat and some trip-hop instrumentals and, yes, Melody herself screaming at the top of her lungs. Vocals overlap, guitars follow, and soon enough it’s too much to keep up with due to layers entering and exiting within seconds, never allowing for the listener to get too comfortable. Have you ever seen one of those money tanks, where the contestant jumps into a glass box and attempts to grab all the bills floating within the mechanicalized wind？ That’s pretty much how I feel when I listen to this track; sure I don’t get to catch everything that floats by me, but I definitely walk away as a happier and richer person after the whole ordeal.
I think Prochet walks away from Bon Voyage
a bit happier as well. Despite my adoration for her take on aping Tame Impala modern psych, I think I prefer hearing an album that is so undeniably herself
. It’s clear to see that she favors this as well; the vocals, although still soft-spoken and fragile, have a newfound life and energy within their deliveries. It’s clear Melody has found her place within life, and although she’s often unsure and hurt as to where it takes her, in the end, it’s this sense of feeling at home that carries on throughout the entire album. On the ethereal stunner ‘Quand les larmes..’ Melody confides to her audience that she’s “found somewhere to hide / someone to be held by
”. It’s truly fitting this track contains the most uplifting and swirling melodies, ones that seem to blend soothingly into the cream-colored instrumental clouds, never overpowering but extremely moving in form. So as I stare up into the floating sky I too feel this sense of homeliness; it’s a slight tinge of reassurance and happiness, not only for personal reasons but also in a communal adoration for Prochet’s own accomplishments. Bon Voyage
is a confident, desultory adventure into foreign lands, uncharted genres, and even a glimpse into the past. Its resounding triumphs will be felt throughout the modernized psych genre, but more importantly, it’s an individual achievement for an artist humbly and quietly returning back to the scene. So listen closely.