Alexandra Savior brings her dreamy, desert rock-tinged torch songs to Manchester on 6 September.
In 2017, Alexandra Savior did what most indie musicians can only dream of: release a debut album co-written with Alex Turner. The vintage-sounding Belladonna of Sadness saw Savior become the latest bearer of the neo-torch song, perhaps most closely aligned with Lana Del Rey. Full of poetic ballads with smoky, intoxicating production courtesy of James Ford, Belladonna places Savior’s vocals front and centre, where she hypnotises with clever wordplay and a languid, ethereal croon. But… whilst the record was met with nods from critics, the ubiquitous view was that it sounded more like an Alex Turner side project than a showcase debut.
Savior’s second album, The Archer (2020), makes up for that, releasing the now-27-year-old artist from the gold-plated jail of Turner’s shadow. Produced by Sam Cohen (Kevin Morby), The Archer is the sound of Alexandra Savior establishing her own artistic voice, and it just so happens to be a great one. ‘Crying All The Time’ – the dreamy, melancholy first single – feels at once classic and contemporary, surveying heartbreak via a retro-futurist, B-movie-inspired style that calls to mind images of dusty ’60s dancehalls and abandoned studio sets. Second single ‘Saving Grace’ is another slowly-swaggering gem, complete with a brilliant James-Bond-villain guitar riff and Savior’s vocals at their eeriest.
It’s a hugely characterful album which thrusts a middle finger in the faces of those who, a few years ago, wrote her off as… well… a shadow puppet. Here’s hoping the songs will be as intoxicating live as they are on record when Savior calls in at Gorilla on 6 September.