Alexandra Savior Is The Latest Singer-Songwriter You Need To Know

At just 21 years old, US singer-songwriter Alexandra Savior is fast becoming one of the most talked-about new voices in the industry. Her debut album, Belladonna of Sadness (named after a 1973 Japanese anime film), was released last month to rave reviews and inspired one YouTube commentator to describe her music (not entirely inaccurately) as "if Lana Del Rey and Alex Turner had a child". But despite co-writing a number of songs with the Arctic Monkeys frontman (more on that later), Alexandra is very much her own artist.
Her hypnotic vocals, dreamy lyrics and desert rock sound makes for a cinematic, beguiling, and, at times, vaguely threatening listen.
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We emailed with Alexandra to find out the inspiration behind her debut album, what she likes to wear on stage and the best thing about living in Portland.
Hi Alexandra! Can you tell us five things that inspired or contributed to the creation of Belladonna of Sadness?
Portishead
Thai Green Curry
Desert flowers
Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
So that listeners can prepare themselves, can you name a film which is equally as sad as this album?
It's probably as sad as Fast and the Furious 19 or Shrek 4.
Can you tell us one of your favourite lyrics you've written so far and why?
"The horizon drank me down." (From "M.T.M.E")
How did you meet Alex Turner and what is he like to work with?
Met him on the old email. He was very hard working, organised, stoic, clever.
Do you have a favourite mood to write in?
Manic!
You direct your own music videos [see "Shades" above]; what do you particularly enjoy about that process?
I love being able to create a world within a screen, work with people who generally do not perform, and see how slowly throughout the day they can become a character they were afraid to explore.
How much do you think about how you dress on stage? And what do you generally like to wear?
I wish I had more guts when it comes to stage get-ups; in my fantasy I am Shirley Bassey or Mina Mazzini, draped in a dress of gold coins and shaking my rump around. But I wear long black dresses because they make me feel comfortable, hidden, and respectable. It isn't about me shaking some well fitted piece of aluminium, it is about the words and the story I have to tell.
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Have you ever tried to be coerced into doing something you didn't want to by the music industry and, if so, how did you handle it?
Oh yes, I have been in the offices of many a man and their half-hearted promises. Unfortunately I believed the first few.
You live in Portland, Oregon. What are the city's pros and cons?
Pros: the people, the moss, the food, the views, the ocean, the mountain, grandma's house, and beer.
Cons: THE RAIN and the potholes.
What is the best thing you've seen or done in London so far?
I saw an Egon Schiele exhibit in London that blew my mind.
Your song "Risk" soundtracked True Detective Season 2; would you rather go to the pub with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson or Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn?
Probably just Woody, we can leave Matt out of it. He just seems like a real go-to guy.
Alexandra Savior's debut album Belladonna Of Sadness is out now on Columbia Records. She plays London's Scala on 30th May. Tickets available here.
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