Listen Now: Music Spotlight On Alexandra Savior

Listen Now: Music Spotlight On Alexandra Savior

This week's music spotlight is on Alexandra Savior, who released her first record with the Arctic Monkeys's Alex Turner.

This week's music spotlight is on Alexandra Savior, who released her first record with the Arctic Monkeys's Alex Turner.

Text: Christina Cacouris

Every week, V shines a spotlight on a new and up-and-coming artist. This week get to know Alexandra Savior, a 22-year-old Portland native who released her first album, Belladonna of Sadness this year produced by none other than the Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner after a chance meeting. The blonde Pacific Northwesterner wrapped a world tour for the record, but she’s returning to her hometown (and Seattle, as a bonus) for a few final shows this fall. We caught up with Savior to hear about her artistic process, working with Turner, and what the future holds.

How have you changed since leaving Portland to do this record and touring around the world?

“Portland has been such a safe place for me; I understand the people here. There’s no agenda. It was quite a shock to go to Los Angeles. It was quite terrifying, because I had never had those experiences and had to assume the worst in people. I’ve had a lot of experiences that scarred me but it made me a stronger woman. I miss parts of California but I’m happy to be in this bubble here [in Portland].”

Your video “Mystery Girl” hints at the idea that you’re perhaps not comfortable in the limelight and would like to retain a sense of anonymity or intrigue. Are you comfortable performing on stage?

"I definitely enjoy performing, but it’s been a learning process because I’ve only been touring for a year and a half or so. So I’d like to continue to build up one of the characters that I’ve created around music. I mixed up the narratives in my own inspiration, and it’s kind of lovely to be able to recreate that in your performance, but the best part for me [about music] is the creation aspect, and having the solitude… I’ll definitely burn out on touring."

You’ve been very adamant about not letting the industry “shape” you into a pop star. How difficult is it to retain creative control?

"It’s been very difficult and confusing because you often get people telling you that you are in control, when you know that you’re not and you feel dissatisfied with the outcome of what’s been created, dissatisfied with yourself and what you’re feeling you represent — but then you still get people telling you you are in control!"

You shot one of your music videos yourself as a way of keeping that control.

 "I started experimenting with filming. I started on just a camcorder and now I’m on Super-8 film – it’s become a really fun medium for me, and I’d like to get a lot better at it."

I like this sense that it’s truly your touch on everything, from start to finish.

"I’ve had some positive reactions and some really harsh judgements. Some of the views have been very much calling me a pet project [of Alex Turner] and a protégé. I think it was equal between us."

Would you want to stay collaborative for future releases?

"Oh, I’m definitely doing it on my own this time! [Laughs] It was great to work with somebody else but it gets confusing when you go out and perform those songs when you’ve written half of it with somebody that isn’t you."

What do you think the next record will sound like without Turner’s influence?

"I’ll continue to make [what was] my half of the record, so it will be a lot more clear for everybody to understand what my identity was. It will be a lot less pristine, a little more emotional and darker. I keep going towards theremin but I’m trying to step back — it’s Dracula-like — [sings] that horror film noise. But I have yet to involve the label because I don’t want to jinx it. Since I just put out my record I have a little bit of leeway, but the next will probably be soon."

Belladonna of Sadness is out now. Watch an acoustic performance of “Girlie”, and stream the rest of the record below.

Credits: IMAGE COURTESY OF SAM KRISTOFSKI

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