In Analogs, we’ll be taking a look at two records that share some interesting parallels to an album out that week. Whether it be an album from 50 years back that bears some quiet influence, or an under-appreciated record from last week, if you like the record in question, you’re sure to like its Analogs.
This week we’re looking at analogs to Melody’s Echo Chamber’s self-titled debut. Be sure to check out our review coming later this week.
Pram – The Stars Are So Big, The Earth Is So Small…Stay As You Are
While Stereolab might seem a more obvious reference for the arpeggiated pop tunes of Melody Prochet’s Melody’s Echo Chamber project, it is Pram that Prochet avowed as an influence alongside the release of her debut single “Crystallized.” Like Stereolab, Pram dealt in locked-groove psychedelia in the early 90s and found their home on Too Pure records. Pram’s carousel grooves may not exactly foreshadow Prochet’s work, but there’s something to be said for the ambience each band creates. Pram’s looped organ riffs are approximated in Prochet’s tunes through effect-dripping guitar. Though Pram’s explorations on The Stars Are So Big… veer into decidedly more avant-garde realms than MEC explores, it’s in the plinky loopy pop songs that they find their striking similarities.
Broadcast – Tender Buttons
Whether or not Melody’s Echo Chamber draws inspiration directly from Broadcast’s work, it’s very clear they’re coming from the same place – the heavily psychedelic guitars, the krauty rhythms, the bubbly, liquid soundscapes. The similarities extend right down to the details – just compare the overdriven bass and chippy drum machines of “Crystallized” to Tender Buttons’ “Black Cat” or “Corporeal.” And it doesn’t hurt that Melody Prochet’s dreamy vocals remind so heavily of the brilliant Trish Keenan. Compared to Melody’s Echo Chamber, Tender Buttons has a much wider range, often exploring a darker, sparser sound with songs like “Arc of a Journey” and the straight acoustic-pop of “Tears in the Typing Pool”. And, to it’s credit, Melody’s Echo Chamber has an identity all its own as well, much more focused on bright, shoegazey guitar arpeggios and keyboards than Tender Buttons (or any Broadcast album) ever gets. But, even when the approaches are starkly dissimilar, there’s a certain melodic sensibility and set of influences that these two records share, and that makes Tender Buttons (and really the rest of Broadcast’s discography) the single most important touchstone for Melody Echo Chamber’s sound.