Having the album of a contestant from The Voice is something that every self-respecting music journalist prays will never happen – however, an exception can be made for the Swedish talent that is Nicole Sabouné. The singer/songwriter made it to the semi-finals of Sweden’s The Voice in 2012 before leaving the competition. She released her debut ‘Must Exist’ in 2014, following the success of single ‘Conquer or Suffer’ and ‘I Surrender’ (two of the most played songs on Swedish radio that year). Her music is a far cry from the usual whitewash mainstream pop of pre-watershed television. Nicole’s gothic blend of post punk makes is utterly spellbinding, which makes sophomore effort ‘Miman’ all the more intriguing.

“Hey! This is fucking outrageous! What the fuck did you say?!” shouts a child over the top of ‘Bleeding Faster’ (the first single to be released from this album). This adds a harsh, abrasive edge to a song which is already explosive sounding. The guitar is as sharp as a razor’s edge, with Nicole’s vocals ringing out, hitting each note with beauty and precision. Every song on this record is more striking than the last; haunting, utterly captivating, she encapsulates a commanding voice that would rival the likes of Bjork and Tori Amos. The synth heavy, darkened ambient instrumentals conjure images of Joy Division manage to sound contemporary yet timeless.

‘Miman’ is an exciting listen and a beacon of light in the mainstream music industry – with so many top 40 artists putting out record after record of bland, uninspiring drivel, it’s refreshing to see an artist fully embracing something that is ordinarily out of most people’s comfort zones and forcing it into the public eye. Nicole will doubtless receive fervent praise for her efforts and every bit of it is well deserved.

(9/10 Angela Davey)