On her second time out — with The Archer, premiering in its entirety exclusively below — Alexandra Savior is hoping for a bullseye.
The 10-song set, out Jan. 10, is the Los Angeles ambient pop singer-songwriter’s sophomore effort, following 2017’s Belladonna of Sadness, co-produced by Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner. For The Archer, Savior (nee McDermott) has a new producer (Sam Cohen) and a new label, Danger Mouse’s 30th Century Records, and she’s confident that three years on, her older self, now 24, is more empowered and focused than she was before.
“What I really wanted to do was get a set of songs I felt were cohesive enough to make sense of a record — it’s more difficult than it sounds,” Savior tells Billboard. “It’s hard to tell with your music whether or not it’s good or bad.” Combing through “hundreds of songs, voice memos, half songs, ideas,” Savior had the tracks together before she hit the studio with Cohen, and she acknowledges there’s an intentional #MeToo aspect to many of the new songs.
“I think I went through a period of time where I was very innocent and I was being taken advantage of by a lot of manipulative forces in my life,” Savoir explains. “I was very young and naive when I first left home and came into the music industry. I think I was prey for a lot of those sort of characters to come in and control what I was doing. I never felt I was being seen for who I was; I was being seen for what they could push me into and what was most sellable.” Savior also struggled through an abusive personal relationship that she says many of The Archer‘s songs are about.
“It was only when I was rejected by those forces when I began to have a voice,” she says. “I wrote from a place of being rejected and confused, insecure and angry and depressed. But I was writing about me, and I think creatively there was a weight lifted off of me and I feel like so much has opened up to me. I think I have a lot less anxiety in general now.”
Danger Mouse and 30th Century are part of that as well, says Savior. “I worked with him back in 2014,” Savoir recalls. “I was going through a troubling time and he just kind of took me aside and we ended up having a friendship rather than a creative musical relationship. Later on he asked if I would send him the record I was working on; I had at that point been dropped (by Columbia) and had given up on things, but he got the record and asked if he could sign me and do the whole thing. (30th Century) has done everything they can to make me comfortable and make me feel like I have a voice, which I haven’t felt in the past.”
Savior is planning to be on the road by February, in the West Coast along with New York, and is planning a European tour for spring. Dates are expected to be announced soon.