Alexandra Savior is Creating Her Own Image
March 30, 2023
Singer-Songwriter Alexandra Savior was destined for fame the moment Courtney Love discovered her YouTube channel in 2016. The singer describes a blooming friendship with the “Hole” singer in an interview –
“I had a lot of strange phone call conversations with her. We would talk on the phone when I’d get home from school. Our home phone was a tomato, and I would sit on the kitchen floor and talk into this tomato and be speaking to Country Love. It was only a couple of weeks or so that she would send me these long, long emails with these Stevie
Nicks references and different music and stuff. It was a shock.”
It seems Savior, whose fame is still nascent, is already following the long documented history of jaded artists struggling between the the need for artistic recognition and the challenges of fame. “I think it’s enough to make me almost despise what I love,” she said of the idea of becoming famous in a 2016 interview. Still, Savior moved to LA for her music and hated it – early attempts to find someone to help her break into the industry were disappointing. Savior walked out of a label interview where she was asked whether she wanted to be Pink or Katy Perry. She has a disdain for social media and a need for individuality, freedom from comparison.
Savior’s debut album Belladonna of Sadness was produced by Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys, whose distinct style is evident in the album’s production. Turner looms over Belladonna, though Savior’s unique sound was born with her first album.
Savior admits to feeling overshadowed by her connection with Turner, which she never truly resonated with – “I was so lost and desperately trying to move the conversation away from Alex all the time,” she said to Blunt. She admits she was “never really that into” Alex’s music, though the comparisons between her and the Artic Monkeys frontman were constant.
Savior’s frustration about her lack of control over her own image is present, even, in her lyrics. Mirage is outstanding, a sarcastic and contemptuous commentary on the music industry’s tendency to erase the individuality of artists in favor of marketability –
“I sing songs about whatever the fuck they want”
Fitted with a sparkly dress and retro haircut in the music video, Savior’s stage persona alternates between confidence and insecurity.
“Dress me like the front of a casino, push me down another rabbit hole”
Eventually, she struggles to disconnect her stage persona from herself – “I don’t know where she starts / and I stop”
After being dropped from her label and manager, Savior took creative control in The Archer, her sophomore album. The Archer contains echos of Turner’s sleek, sexy electronic production but ultimately it is Savior’s album, down to the cover art and music videos.
Writing unrepresented was ultimately beneficial to Savior’s songwriting – she describes feeling more freedom to write for herself when she was unrepresented. “A lot of the songs that I was writing before I got dropped,” she said, “I was intentionally trying to impress this label that I wasn’t really suited for.”
The Archer was inspired by a a breakup, and the singer-songwriter channeled the pain from her heartbreak into music. Of her impassioned lyrics, she said,
“If I’m having a heartbreak, I imagine he is sitting in front of me, tied to a chair, and I have just finished every single argument we ever had in a blaze of victory.”
“Howl” is an underrated gem on the album, about the confusion of a manipulative relationship between a young woman and an older man.
“Handsome dictator of my crimes / I can’t tell if they’re yours, I can’t tell if they’re mine.”
The synthesized melody is haunting and addicting, essential to the drama of the song.
The album’s opening track, Soft Currents, is a calm, pretty piano ballad and a reflection on the rest of the album- as if Savior is looking back on the past and this track begins the next chapter. In an interview, she described Soft Currents as a retrospective look on The Archer –
“When I was writing The Archer, I had a perspective of someone who felt she was a victim. Now I feel like I have accepted the choices I have made, I understand my responsibility. I’m not weak anymore.”
As the song opens, she sings:
“Seven years, I’ve had seven years of bad luck / and I’m just fine”
The lyrics are reassuring, an acceptance of the mistakes and pain of the past – and sometimes even the present – and a resolve to keep going.
“My fate is at the hands of my mistakes, and that’s all right”
Since she released The Archer in 2020, Savior has been painting, touring, and writing new music. Her new album -which will resemble the maturity and peacefulness of Soft Currents more than the drama of Send Her Back or Howl – is in progress.
Savior’s music matures along with her; this is the promise of her next record. She won’t let anyone else shape her image – it is all her own.