I blame Tame Impala for never having allowed me to properly get into Melody's Echo Chamber; as my reaction to the Australian psychers was never an enthusiastic one, their proximity to the French singer/songwriter (erroneously) prevented me from exploring her music any further — prejudice is a very ugly thing, kids.

Last summer we were all taken aback by the unexpected news that Melody Prochet had suffered a "serious accident" and that she would be in the hospital for several months; she was in the middle of a tour, and the medical report about a brain aneurysm and broken vertebrae led to much speculation about the actual nature of the accident. Even though an amazing wave of "get well soon" messages echoed throughout her fanbase, it's safe to say this is not the kind of media buzz an artist wants to generate; a tragic accident or any other detail about their private life can become so inconveniently centerstage to their career — and here we are talking about it, huh — that ultimately prevents the audience from paying due attention to their music, eventually turning their métier into a mere public spectacle fed by morbid curiosity.

However, I do have to confess that the minute I started to receive emails about her new album Bon Voyage I felt a huge joy and relief; not having heard about her ever since, I expected the worst — and I swore then and there that I would be giving the new LP all the attention it deserved. I didn't regret my decision.

Bon Voyage is Melody Prochet's proper follow-up to her 2012 self-titled debut, a sensorial adventure whose core retro vibes (at least vocally) emanate a strange mix of Françoise Hardy and Jane Birkin, thus resulting in a hybrid of the Mystic and the Ingénue we rarely see in art in general and music in particular. Clocking up little over half an hour, the album is as intense as opener 'Cross My Heart' suggests it to be; while 'Breathe In Breathe Out' sees Prochet herself on drum duties (the first song ever she played drums on), 'Desert Horse' emerges as an hypnotic trip reminiscent of early '70s experimental psych-chanson, synaesthetically closer to avant-garde cinema than to any sonic exploration. Paradoxically coherent and heterogeneous at the same time, Bon Voyage's richness resides exactly in its ability of awakening both the sweet and the sour in each and every one of us, confirming the omnipresence of a lining of sadness that envelops the generality of human perception.

Coincidentally (or not), the album closes with 'Shirin', the first taster of Bon Voyage Prochet had shared back in 2014, when a sophomore album was expected — according to Melody herself — the following year. Beautiful things take time to properly come to life, and this is no exception; although this reading obviously comes in the aftermath of her accident, Bon Voyage sounds like a rebirth of sorts for Prochet. Here's hoping we get to see her on stage soon, touring this wonderful piece of enchanted and mature cosmicness.