When you grow up feeling out of place, you can either run and hide or find a way to stand out.
Singer/songwriter Alexandra Savior has chosen the latter, starting her music career early. By the time she was 17, she had caught the attention of established musicians and professionals including one Courtney Love.
After signing with Columbia records Savior set out to record her debut album. She teamed up with Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner and producer James Ford to create a dusty, slinky slew of an album.
‘Belladonna of Sadness,’ was quietly released in April, and is a moody and brooding collection of work not to be ignored.
Now, it’s important to note Turner’s influence in Savior’s breakout album is very apparent. Heavy bass and haunting chord progressions can be found a plenty in this album, and there are several lyrics that would feel right at home in an Arctic Monkeys or even Last Shadow Puppets (another Turner collaboration) song.
This isn’t to say the album is bad or even familiar. Rather it comes across as a side project of someone else, as opposed to the debut album of a new face. That being said, ‘Belladonna of Sadness’ is a fun and twisted ride. Turner’s cleverness and influence guides the album into a stage of maturity, while Savior’s alluring vocals add an air of mystique.
“Mirage,” the opening track, ushers us into a kaleidoscopic view, one where fragmented shapes and bursts of light shift across our subconscious.
She follows with “Bones,” a sensual breath of fresh air, and one of several standout tracks that reflects Savior’s influence on her own album. The song is slow and understated, and fascination, desperation and desire are all wrapped neatly into a spiraling tune.
Opposite to the almost innocent feel of “Bones” is “Shades,” an aloof observation of how one feels when they know their actions aren’t the best.
“I sort of wish that is was raining, so that I could pull the hood up on my coat/I’m always happy to be leaving/Must be the company I’m keeping,” sings Savior.
“Shades” is the perfect song the change your perspective; as the day goes on, walking home after a night out provides the best time to reflect … if only you could find your damn shades.
The next few songs in the album, “Girlie,” “Frankie,” and “M.T.M.E” sort of blend together as a twisted ode to Los Angeles and the people you find; some you were looking for and others who just appeared.
Throughout the album, Savior finds ways to separate herself from her mentor’s influence. “Cupid,” “Till Your Mine” and “Mystery Girl” all ooze with a sensual, feminine perspective. In these tracks, mesmerizing vocals pull you in as abstract lyrics paint an eerie picture, one that mirrors the set of your favorite horror movie. Savior herself notes she was aiming for a slightly “murderous” feel as well as flashes of a feminine voice.
Overall, ‘Belladonna’ of Sadness’ is just as it is; a collection of hazy desert-rock with a feminine perspective and rambling man sort of vibe. If you’re a fan of Turner, or like music that sounds at home in a mature Halloween playlist, Savior’s debut album is worth a listen.
For more information about Savior and ‘Belladonna of Sadness,’ visit Saviors website.