Swedish post punk artist Nicole Sabouné has today released her latest album Miman. Miman follows her debut album Must Exist, released in 2014.
Miman opens with The Body, containing typical 70s-80s vocals found from the likes of Abba, however they are placed in up to date music. The Body has a repeating synth riff with choral vocals over the top. It’s difficult to describe but it does actually sound like alternative music. Immediately following is Right Track, which follows in the same vein as The Body, but somehow it sounds more gothic. It might be the different synth sounds, there is one section that sort of sounds like distorted strings playing a harmonic minor, giving the track an Asian feel. The guitar is also distorted to sound like a sitar, an Indian instrument, which lends more to that Asian image.
Bleeding Faster introduces vocal loops and effects in the instrumental, helping to tell the story. The child and the mother are calling out to each other, and the reverb and other effects make it feel like there has been an accident, with the mother exclaiming “I love you” over and over again. The most stripped back track on the album is Under Stars (For The Lovers), for the first two minutes it is just guitar and vocals, and then the one note synth and simple drumbeat starts. It’s also the most gothic sounding. Similar to Under Stars is Lifetime, however Lifetime has more going on musically. Rip This World sounds typically 80s, reminiscent of Bon Jovi. However as the track progresses, it sounds more and more modern. Rip This World would be a great choice for a single.
We Are No Losers musically incorporates elements of British Indie, combining with the awesome power of Sabouné‘s voice. It would be another fantastic choice for a single. The longest track on the album is Withdraw and about a third of the way through the track, the listener will probably get bored as it is very repetitive. The final track on the deluxe version of the album is Frozen, which begins with an epic guitar riff before stripping back to vocals and melodic guitar, with the drums coming in for the chorus. Frozen is the most gothic metal track on the album.
Sabouné is described as post punk, but perhaps that’s not the right description for her at all. Her music is definitely experimental, but not based on punk as we know it. Her music is rooted in metal, with classical and gothic influences and stays away from the typical punk 3 or 4 chord structure. Post gothic alternative might be a better description for her. The listener has a difficult time picturing a live show while listening to this album; how would the mix of computer generated synthesisers and real life instruments work in a live setting? How different would Sabouné sound live? It would be interesting to experience.
Tying the whole album together are the overriding mixing and mastering effects. Sabouné‘s vocals are given that reverb that is typical of vocalists such as Amy Lee from Evanescence and Sharon del Adel from Within Temptation. It is clear from this album that Sabouné has a brilliant voice.