It's a given that we spend much of our youth lost behind music for any number of reasons: be it out of boredom or a desire to fit in with our peers, or because some of us are looking from an escape from the world around us. It was no different for Aisha Chaouche, who turned to music early in her life to cope with a traumatic childhood.

Describing her father as being "very aggressive" and not "a good character", her parents eventually divorced, but not before the experience left an impression on Chaouche. She was taken out of school and was living in virtual isolation in the mountains in Wales. The sense of disconnect only added to the confusion of coming to terms with her youth and family life and she sought refuge behind her mother's piano.

Having found a natural gift for creating music, she decided to make a career out of it and eventually moved to Bristol where she briefly studied at BIMM music college. She soon dropped out to focus on writing and recording her own music and eventually decided to record an album. Having her childhood experiences as a source of inspiration, she released a couple of singles and quickly followed that with her debut, Safe.

It's a self referential title but also a very fitting one. "The overarching theme of my songs is "healing" she writes about Safe. "Collectively my songs contribute to a greater understanding of particular issues I found overbearing and traumatizing as a child and young adult. Each song is dedicated to a memory or experience that has come from a negative source that’s ultimately been turned into a strength."

For an album that deals with topics as serious as abandonment and trust, mental illness, letting go and trust, Safe is a surprisingly uplifting experience. Though it was likely difficult for Chaouche reliving those experiences while challenging them into her music, it was obviously a cathartic experience. She never allows the tension or heartbreak to be the focus, instead working through those emotions towards closure and acceptance.

Despite only studying for a year, her natural gift as a composer and writer are more than evident. Safe was recorded using a limitation of equipment, but the whole "less is more" approach works to her advantage and allows her natural abilities to come gleaming through. The plucked strings, minimal percussion, and layered harmonies on 'I'll Lose My Head' (inspired by mental illness) gives it an almost gospel feel with its layered harmonies providing a haunting choir effect while the title-track is stripped even further with the unsettling sound of wailing police sirens piercing the eerie stillness given off by Chaouche's otherworldly voice and gloomy piano.

Both of these songs put emphasis on how gifted of a singer she is. It's no surprise that Bjork is one of her influences but rather than pushing her vocals into far out places, she instead focuses on her power and range, having the ability to simultaniously break your heart and lift your spirits.

The key to its beauty is how restrained the music is on Safe. For all of the gorgeous and lush arrangements, the songs remain focused and uncluttered. 'So What' for example is sparsely arranged with a minimal amount of drum pads and percussion fluttering behind the warmth of her chords and soaring harmonies.

'What's Next?' builds from a fairly gentle composition to something a little more chaotic where the pianos rise and tumble with urgency and bursts of erratic percussion disrupts the otherwise serene nature and nudges everything towards a thrilling climax with Chaouche repeating the refrain "I don't need your love" that makes for an especially intense release of emotions.

Music as catharsis is nothing new and plenty of artists have documented some of the most painful (and private) experiences of their lives through music as both a means of processing them but also as a way of reaching others who are likely experiencing the same struggles as a way of letting them know they aren't alone. Chaouche takes the most heartbreaking moments of a her life one memory at a time and walks us through them to a place where resolution feels possible and hope feels within reach.