doesn't want to be a product. She doesn't want to be molded into what the industry thinks will sell. Savior has a unique sound and style - a vintage pop-rock vibe with a little bit of drama. She writes, directs and edits her own videos and she was able to network her way to crossing paths with Alex Turner and James Ford, who helped produce her upcoming album, Belladonna of Sadness
. She's pretty badass. And she's only 21-years-old.
The singer-songwriter grew up listening to her dad's record collection. In addition to this, she got into jazz singers like Nina Simone, Etta James, and Ella Fitzgerald. These inspirations were essentially why she started singing, but she kept it a secret. Another person who influenced her artistic frenzy was her art school teacher, Abigail. "She would wear these huge fur coats and dark red lipstick and she would just come in and was like, 'HELLO STUDENTS!' She just taught me how to express myself."
I was able to speak to Savior on the phone as she was making the six hour drive from San Francisco to Portland, where Savior grew up. She lives on the road for now. "I have been looking on Pinterest to get ideas for what my future home will look like. I'll just be on it in the back of the van," she admits. A few weeks ago, Savior started touring with Hamilton Leithauser and also has SXSW, Bonnaroo, Primavera Sound, and Boston Calling, which will take her to the end of the summer.
The somber singer-songwriter grew up in Portland, Oregon and made the move to Los Angeles when she turned 18 to pursue singing. She signed to Columbia after other record labels were trying to shape her into a mainstream pop artist - which was far from the sound Savior wanted to go for. She managed to connect with Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys and James Ford who helped her with create her debut album. But living in LA wasn't a forever thing for Alexandra Savior.
Savior and I bonded about being bullied in high school, which leads to suppressing yourself and your expression. Once you're at a comfortable place where you know who you are and then go to a place where you're surrounded by superficial people - you seem to lose yourself again. "It was a whole other form of protecting that person and not allowing her to grow. Punishing myself for not being like the people around me. But I think that's what I ended up doing there. The only way to get back that expressive self was to leave."
Her album, Belladonna of Sadness,
will be dropping on April 7th via Columbia Records. She finished the record about nine months before she picked a name - having changed it a few times before deciding. Savior got the idea from the 1973 Japanese anime film with the same name. "It's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I just connected to it. At the end this women shows so much power over those people who exiled her." She went on to say it made sense at the time, so, "I just copied it," she said, as she let out an innocent little laugh.
Savior is particularly attached to the song, "Audeline," on the album and said the biggest challenge will be sharing it because it's very personal to her. I asked her what she wanted her fans to get out of the record and she simply replied, "I don't know. They don't even have to like it." Savior has released three singles from the upcoming album, "Shades," "Mystery Girl," and "M.T.M.E" and if they're an indicator of the rest of the album, I don't think she has anything to worry about. With Turner and Ford in her corner, the mentality of a girl boss, and the voice of a retro goddess, Alexandra Savior isn't showing any signs of slowing down.