SHARE THIS ARTICLE

Share on facebook
Share on twitter

Why We Love: Alexandra Savior

Gifted with a velvet voice that will make you swoon, lyricism to rival great literature and a ‘Mystery Girl’ aura that helplessly lures you in, Alexandra Savior is an enigmatic force to be reckoned with.

Not only a talented creative musically, she utilises her artistic capabilities to the full, bringing a personal touch to all elements of her work. Each of her aesthetic music videos that perfectly accompany her chilling tracks is self-directed and she even designs her own album covers and merchandise. Overall, she creates a coherent experience and is certainly proving that she really is a ‘Savior’ to modern female rock.

Born and raised in Portland Oregon as Alexandra Savior McDermott the 25-year-old immediately showed musical promise and received her first wave of attention at the age of just 17 when Courtney Love proclaimed “This girl is gonna be huge!”. Love clearly wasn’t the only one who thought highly of her as the following year a bidding war between labels started; with Columbia Records eventually snapping her up. Upon the deal, Savior moved out to Los Angeles and although she admits that she didn’t feel fully prepared at the time she evidently came into her own as this doesn’t show in her precise work produced out there. 

This flourishing development was partly thanks to Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner because fortunately, rather than someone pushing her in the direction of ‘Katy Perry’ like many labels intended she had the modern-day rock icon around to keep her on the right track. A huge supporter from the get-go, Turner first suggested she drop her last name and go by her middle instead, doubling the impact after initially giving the stage name Alexandra Semitone a shot.

In addition to helping her settle on a pseudonym, he also brought his well-known wit and wordplay to the table as a co-writer, as well as joining forces with his frequent collaborator James Ford to produce Savior’s debut record ‘Belladonna of Sadness’. Make no mistake though; this isn’t Alexandra Turner. Savior is one hundred per cent her own artist and had Alex collaborated with anyone other than the rising star an album couldn’t possibly come close.

Dark and brooding, Savior’s first LP was released in 2018 and chills you to your ‘Bones’ with rich, murderous tones but also has a ‘Girlie’ touch from its sweeter melodic notes. Thanks to elements such as her stand-out smokey voice; even backed with faint screams and wicked laughs on tracks like M.T.M.E to spooky organs, thudding drum beats and shredding guitars she creates an eerie cinematic aesthetic reminiscent of glamorous old Hollywood with a desert twist.

Influences she cites seep their way into tracks, with a prominent example being the late great Amy Winehouse whose characteristics are not only present in the soul Savior sings with but also her strong stance and powerful attitude on songs like Shades, as well as Jack White whose essence is felt in the American ‘Rock n Roll’ grit of the bluesy instrumentals. She also takes inspiration from outside the realm of music with comedy legend and filmmaker Terry Gilliam being a creative influence that not only reveals itself in her artsy music videos but also in the lyrical magic delivered by her haunting vocals.

Proving that she can paint a picture in more ways than one, vivid imagery is evoked in all songs with lyrics like ‘Dress me like the front of a casino, push me down another rabbit hole, touch me like I’m gonna turn to gold’ standing out in opening track Mirage. Alongside Turner, she projected her own feelings onto stories and characters, displayed beautifully in Girlie; the analysis of females trying to make it in the industry featuring lines like ‘Until her eyeballs start to bleed, she don’t wanna go to sleep’ and in Mystery Girl’s tale of infidelity singing ‘Hush now, don’t explain. Wound up with a heavier heart, from waiting in the rain’.

Belladonna of Sadness truly provides listeners with a whole world. Even songs that didn’t make the cut such as ‘Miracle Aligner’ now best known for being recorded by Turner and Miles Kane as The Last Shadow Puppets are packed with a punch but the perfect tracks were chosen; all piecing together to create a dark dream that you’ll never want to awaken from. 

At the beginning of this year, Savior followed up ‘Belladonna’ with the release of sophomore album ‘The Archer’ and although she found such a distinctive style with her first album, it was exciting to hear that she didn’t play it safe and stick to the same recipe (despite it being devoured by many). Instead, she delivers a heart-break fantasy that hypnotises you into floating along on her fresh journey, with the darker side only creeping in rather than being at the forefront.

An even more personal endeavour that her first, Savior was truly left to her own devices for this record after being dropped from Columbia, her manager quitting and receiving no aid from Alex Turner. None of this held her back though and only resulted in an album that’s soaked in assertive independence and is every bit her own.

Opening with a melancholic piano solo and heartfelt words she embraces the title of the track ‘Soft Currents’ throughout, delivering more vulnerable emotion in songs like this and The Archer. As a whole, it feels more of a woozy, gentle daydream in comparison to the dangerous vibes radiated previously but as mentioned, the darkness lurks. Harkening back to the ‘Belladonna of Sadness’ days are the thick riffs and thumping rhythm of Saving Grace and the suave single Howl with its strong synth and delivery. In addition to this, she further boasts her range by delivering a tune made for the likes of Mad Men with Send Her Back featuring a wonderful big brass intro and even takes you to the seaside with the beach swept Can’t Help Myself.

Although the overall direction is a departure, the key elements that make a Savior track remain. She doesn’t disappoint on effortlessly cool sounds, oozing vocals and of course those lyrics such as ‘The wilted edge of a lonesome mattress, I lay my head there until the feeling passes. It’s sinking in just as time relapses’ that I ‘Can’t Help Myself’ from quoting.

Although she might seem like an impossible ‘Mirage’, Alexandra Savior is as real as ever. So, if you’re looking for some dreamy desert rock, the perfect revenge soundtrack or spooky psychedelic pop then she really is the ‘Saving Grace’ that you’re looking for.

Listen to Alexandra Savior on Spotify now.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Richie Clarke
Richie Clarke
1 year ago

Downloaded The Archer album on spotify, enjoying Send her back,
Bad disease and But you.
Definately one artist to watch.

Advertisement

Recommended for you:

Why We Love: The Cleaners from Venus (aka Martin Newell)

In 1980, Newell formed The Cleaners from Venus with Lawrence “Lol” Elliot, though since then, he has remained the only consistent member. Under this moniker, Newell has released a multitude of albums, and this isn’t even taking into consideration his wealth of material under his own name. Starting with Blow Away Your Troubles, Newell showed the world what to expect from The Cleaners from Venus: wonderful, jangly music that was staunchly lo-fi.

Read More »

Catching Up with PREGOBLIN

I can’t quite recall how or when I first heard PREGOBLIN’s 2019 single “Combustion,” but I do remember that within twenty-four hours, I’d listened to it about thirty times. The two minutes and 43 seconds of infectiously danceable beats and clever, darkly humorous lyrics (“Spontaneous combustion is the way I wanna go“) had me hooked; I was, and remain, an instant fan. PREGOBLIN was initially composed of sad music/crance sensation Jessica Winter and Alex Sebley. The duo wrote a string of excellent singles (including “Combustion,” which has racked up a million-plus streams on Spotify) accompanied by camp, highly imaginative, low-budget music videos, which gained them a devoted cult following. After years of working with Winter, Sebley is currently operating solo, under the same all-caps moniker of PREGOBLIN. Totally Wired recently caught up with him to discuss his approach to songwriting, his first gig memories, and plans for future music. TWM:

Read More »

An Analysis of The Beach Boys: 1967-74

From 1967 to 1974, The Beach Boys proved themselves to be remarkable composers, lyricists, and musicians, even with the dwindling participation of Brian, though he still contributed songs and ideas from time to time. Starting with Wild Honey and ending with Holland, there were ideas and gems abound on each tracklist.

Read More »

Adwaith – Bato Mato: The Welsh Trio to Rule The World

The genre-defying Welsh language trio Adwaith hit their home music scene hard in 2015 and have since brought their spellbinding sound and punching attitude to stages at Glastonbury, Green Man and many others across the UK. The larger British music scene has quickly embraced the band’s extraordinary energy and our prayers have just been answered with Adwaiths new album Bato Mato. Fresh back from their weekend at Glasto, we spoke to Gwen, Hollie and Heledd about the album’s reinvigorated sound and their hopes for carrying Welsh language music to a mass of new listeners from across the world.

Read More »

Why We Love: Working For A Nuclear Free City

If you look up the word “Underrated” in the dictionary, you’ll find this band. Formed in Manchester in 1999, Working For A Nuclear Free City was an alternative, nu-gaze, boundary-pushing band that undoubtedly inspired and paved the way for countless bands and artists. With a career that spans just under two decades, the style and sound of their music were constantly evolving and redefining genres, resulting in an eclectic, inspiring, and impressive discography. The band’s self-titled debut album was released in 2006 and quickly gained acclaim from a number of major media outlets, with the BBC stating: “it’s the way that [WFANFC and The Longcut, another British music group] have distilled Manchester’s history into an exciting future brew that makes them important.” Clocking in at just under forty minutes, the album plays like a hazy yet intense dream. One minute you’re floating through melancholic tones with tracks such as “The

Read More »

How To Let Go – Sigrid

Wow, I cannot believe Sigrid invented music. That’s how I felt after hearing the latest LP from singer/songwriter/superstar Sigrid. First of all, I’d like to point out that 2022 has gotten off to a fantastic start for the release of new music. Hell, this month alone has already made me nervous about just how this year’s wrap-up of our favourite albums will go down. But between you and I, I think I’ve found my winner. Upon the release of “Mirror” last year, I was ecstatic about the potential of Sigrid’s next musical outing. Sucker Punch was already one of my favourite albums of 2019, but my goodness, the soundscape of Sigrid in 2021 blew me away. From “Mirror” to “Burning Bridges,” the heavy emphasis on this broader, heavier, and dirtier sound gave me goosebumps. Opening track “It Gets Dark” majestically defines what you’re in for this time around. With the

Read More »

WE – Arcade Fire

Has it really been five years since Everything Now, perhaps one of Arcade Fire’s most polarising albums? And my my, what a road we’ve been on since then. So, it begs the question: Arcade Fire, where are we at? After the release of “The Lightning” I and II, we see that Win Butler and friends have taken a more traditional approach to their songwriting; not too dissimilar to sounds you’d find off any of their albums from Funeral to the Suburbs, but obviously with a much tighter approach to production. To me, WE sounds like the bridge between The Suburbs and Reflektor, and I’m all for it. The album kicks off with “Age Of Anxiety I” and “II (Rabbit Hole),” and it’s a really strong start: the percussive breaths on “Anxiety I” make for a really effective way to almost unnerve you, and the beautiful piano hook that gets shaken

Read More »

Fucking Hallelujah: Children of the Pope

The Children of the Pope—judging from the band’s name alone, you know you’re in for something good. Signed by Isolar Records in early 2022, the band’s rise since their formation in 2018 (in the “grimiest parts of South London,”) has been meticulously documented by Lou Smith, and they’ve shared stages alongside the likes of Insecure Men, Brian Destiny, and Honkies.

Read More »

Everything All Of The Time: Kid A Revisited

Rick Simpson brings new life to Radiohead classics at The Jazz Cafe. Though it’s only a stone’s throw from Camden Town tube station, my dash to The Jazz Cafe on the night of Sunday, 20th February was a wet one.  Outside the venue, the latest in a volley of storms was raging through London’s streets. Inside, meanwhile, a drenched crowd was eagerly awaiting pianist and composer Rick Simpson, who was set to perform Everything All Of The Time: Kid A Revisited, his ode to the seminal Radiohead album.  A madly brilliant, sprawling recontextualisation of Kid A presented by way of jazz quintet, the project sees Simpson taking a scalpel to each track and extracting its core DNA for use as a basis in his crazed experiments. Each minute detail has been immaculately captured in a recording, and whilst I wholeheartedly advise you to grab a copy, I feel that there’s

Read More »

Why We Love: Pons

I’ll start off this article with two words: two drummers. I’ll add another two for good measure: no bassist. That’s right, Pons is a three-piece band featuring a guitar, vocals, drums, and more drums. They’re truly a sight and sound to behold.

Read More »

Why We Love: The Cleaners from Venus (aka Martin Newell)

In 1980, Newell formed The Cleaners from Venus with Lawrence “Lol” Elliot, though since then, he has remained the only consistent member. Under this moniker, Newell has released a multitude of albums, and this isn’t even taking into consideration his wealth of material under his own name. Starting with Blow Away Your Troubles, Newell showed the world what to expect from The Cleaners from Venus: wonderful, jangly music that was staunchly lo-fi.

Read More »

Catching Up with PREGOBLIN

I can’t quite recall how or when I first heard PREGOBLIN’s 2019 single “Combustion,” but I do remember that within twenty-four hours, I’d listened to it about thirty times. The two minutes and 43 seconds of infectiously danceable beats and clever, darkly humorous lyrics (“Spontaneous combustion is the way I wanna go“) had me hooked; I was, and remain, an instant fan. PREGOBLIN was initially composed of sad music/crance sensation Jessica Winter and Alex Sebley. The duo wrote a string of excellent singles (including “Combustion,” which has racked up a million-plus streams on Spotify) accompanied by camp, highly imaginative, low-budget music videos, which gained them a devoted cult following. After years of working with Winter, Sebley is currently operating solo, under the same all-caps moniker of PREGOBLIN. Totally Wired recently caught up with him to discuss his approach to songwriting, his first gig memories, and plans for future music. TWM:

Read More »

An Analysis of The Beach Boys: 1967-74

From 1967 to 1974, The Beach Boys proved themselves to be remarkable composers, lyricists, and musicians, even with the dwindling participation of Brian, though he still contributed songs and ideas from time to time. Starting with Wild Honey and ending with Holland, there were ideas and gems abound on each tracklist.

Read More »

Adwaith – Bato Mato: The Welsh Trio to Rule The World

The genre-defying Welsh language trio Adwaith hit their home music scene hard in 2015 and have since brought their spellbinding sound and punching attitude to stages at Glastonbury, Green Man and many others across the UK. The larger British music scene has quickly embraced the band’s extraordinary energy and our prayers have just been answered with Adwaiths new album Bato Mato. Fresh back from their weekend at Glasto, we spoke to Gwen, Hollie and Heledd about the album’s reinvigorated sound and their hopes for carrying Welsh language music to a mass of new listeners from across the world.

Read More »

Why We Love: Working For A Nuclear Free City

If you look up the word “Underrated” in the dictionary, you’ll find this band. Formed in Manchester in 1999, Working For A Nuclear Free City was an alternative, nu-gaze, boundary-pushing band that undoubtedly inspired and paved the way for countless bands and artists. With a career that spans just under two decades, the style and sound of their music were constantly evolving and redefining genres, resulting in an eclectic, inspiring, and impressive discography. The band’s self-titled debut album was released in 2006 and quickly gained acclaim from a number of major media outlets, with the BBC stating: “it’s the way that [WFANFC and The Longcut, another British music group] have distilled Manchester’s history into an exciting future brew that makes them important.” Clocking in at just under forty minutes, the album plays like a hazy yet intense dream. One minute you’re floating through melancholic tones with tracks such as “The

Read More »

How To Let Go – Sigrid

Wow, I cannot believe Sigrid invented music. That’s how I felt after hearing the latest LP from singer/songwriter/superstar Sigrid. First of all, I’d like to point out that 2022 has gotten off to a fantastic start for the release of new music. Hell, this month alone has already made me nervous about just how this year’s wrap-up of our favourite albums will go down. But between you and I, I think I’ve found my winner. Upon the release of “Mirror” last year, I was ecstatic about the potential of Sigrid’s next musical outing. Sucker Punch was already one of my favourite albums of 2019, but my goodness, the soundscape of Sigrid in 2021 blew me away. From “Mirror” to “Burning Bridges,” the heavy emphasis on this broader, heavier, and dirtier sound gave me goosebumps. Opening track “It Gets Dark” majestically defines what you’re in for this time around. With the

Read More »

WE – Arcade Fire

Has it really been five years since Everything Now, perhaps one of Arcade Fire’s most polarising albums? And my my, what a road we’ve been on since then. So, it begs the question: Arcade Fire, where are we at? After the release of “The Lightning” I and II, we see that Win Butler and friends have taken a more traditional approach to their songwriting; not too dissimilar to sounds you’d find off any of their albums from Funeral to the Suburbs, but obviously with a much tighter approach to production. To me, WE sounds like the bridge between The Suburbs and Reflektor, and I’m all for it. The album kicks off with “Age Of Anxiety I” and “II (Rabbit Hole),” and it’s a really strong start: the percussive breaths on “Anxiety I” make for a really effective way to almost unnerve you, and the beautiful piano hook that gets shaken

Read More »

Fucking Hallelujah: Children of the Pope

The Children of the Pope—judging from the band’s name alone, you know you’re in for something good. Signed by Isolar Records in early 2022, the band’s rise since their formation in 2018 (in the “grimiest parts of South London,”) has been meticulously documented by Lou Smith, and they’ve shared stages alongside the likes of Insecure Men, Brian Destiny, and Honkies.

Read More »

Everything All Of The Time: Kid A Revisited

Rick Simpson brings new life to Radiohead classics at The Jazz Cafe. Though it’s only a stone’s throw from Camden Town tube station, my dash to The Jazz Cafe on the night of Sunday, 20th February was a wet one.  Outside the venue, the latest in a volley of storms was raging through London’s streets. Inside, meanwhile, a drenched crowd was eagerly awaiting pianist and composer Rick Simpson, who was set to perform Everything All Of The Time: Kid A Revisited, his ode to the seminal Radiohead album.  A madly brilliant, sprawling recontextualisation of Kid A presented by way of jazz quintet, the project sees Simpson taking a scalpel to each track and extracting its core DNA for use as a basis in his crazed experiments. Each minute detail has been immaculately captured in a recording, and whilst I wholeheartedly advise you to grab a copy, I feel that there’s

Read More »

Why We Love: Pons

I’ll start off this article with two words: two drummers. I’ll add another two for good measure: no bassist. That’s right, Pons is a three-piece band featuring a guitar, vocals, drums, and more drums. They’re truly a sight and sound to behold.

Read More »