All words: Paula Mejia — All photos: Chris Chen
Shimmering psychedelic pop reverberated throughout the Black Cat last night, with the stunning double bill comprised of Melody’s Echo Chamber and The Raveonettes. Through looping reverbed guitars, ethereal vocals and distortion abound, both bands destroyed the wall of sound with a particular beauty.
France’s wondergirl Melody Prochet, the leader of Melody’s Echo Chamber, recently dropped their self-titled debut album via Fat Possum produced by Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker. Think of Tame Impala melded with Broadcast, and Melody’s Echo Chamber begins to materialize.
The band played through most of the album, beginning with the lush “Endless Shore.” I was surprised at how soft they sounded as compared to the fullness of the record. Prochet profusely apologized for the shortened line check, which would have been
attributed to the sound issues. The sound picked up near the end, with the percussion-heavy “Mount Hopeless.”
Nonetheless, the softness didn’t detract from the performance in any way. The no-fuss lights cast dramatic silhouettes of the band across the stage, highlighted by Prochet’s charming psychedelic dances while jamming on a personalized Korg.
The Paris-rooted quartet particularly burned with a cover of Serge Gainsbourg’s “Jane B” and “Bisou Magique” with lyrics in their native French. Before their last track “Crystallize,” Prochet requested a more psychedelic light show from the lights guy. At the end of the track, the four burst into a searing blend of drones and psychedelic guitars, leaving the audience desperate for more at the end.
A long break (in which the entirety of Interpol’s Antics played through the Black Cat) amplified the tension before Denmark’s dreamiest duo, The Raveonettes, took the stage. Fresh from the release of their latest album Observator, the two were well-received by the whooping crowd.
Vocalist and guitarist Sune Rose Wagner, along with guitarist Sharin Foo, bathed in hazy lights that shifted from reds to purples, aptly began the set with “Hallucinations” from their previous release Lust, Lust Lust, lost in a swell of shoegazey guitars that buzzed throughout the entire club. Foo, stylishly clad in a Wu Tang hat, complemented Foo’s breathy vocals with his own, the chemistry between the two’s duets making for an electrifying stage presence.
The guitarwork from Foo was especially stellar, reverb-heavy but simple. Highlighted by the addition of a live drummer on tour, the result was a full-bodied sound, all at once affected, gorgeous and luminous. “She Owns The Streets” and the “The Enemy” from latest album Observator breathed a welcome sigh of bubblegum psychedelic pop, both chilling and punchy.
A reflection on the displacement and loneliness that often accompanies chasing a distant dream with a move to LA, the band’s newest album Observator listens with a very particular sunny yet somber feel, which translated incredibly well live. With themes revolving around recovery and redemption, the live show was aptly as cathartic as the record — but somehow, still incredibly fun. Leave it to the Danes to channel something strange and devastatingly beautiful from something seemingly bleak.