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Belladonna of Sadness: Alexandra Savior

Belladonna of Sadness: Alexandra Savior

Belladonna of Sadness: Alexandra Savior

8 July 2017

Alexandra Savior's debut album tells a compelling, if melancholic story. Photo: Justin Higuchi

Reviewed by Hannah Pho

There’s something about listening to the right song at the right time.

The cohesion of aligning what your eyes are seeing, what your body is feeling and what your ears are hearing, evokes such a sense of comfort. Therefore, come Melbourne’s rainy winter, American singer-songwriter Alexandra Savior has got you covered.

The title of Savior’s debut album Belladonna of Sadness could not be more appropriate.

Each song is filled with dystopian harmonies suspended in minor chords, and haunting melodies that sound like they’re being pushed around by the ebb and flow of the ocean.

Its complex tangle of sounds will leave you feeling reminiscent and melancholy in a cinematic, Wes Anderson film kind-of-way.

Upon first listen, comparisons can automatically be drawn between Savior and her musical influences. Without a doubt, Savior sounds like the younger sister Lana Del Ray and Alex Turner; borrowing the damaged heroine persona and tone of voice from Del Ray, and arguably everything else from Turner.

While Del Ray’s influence might be incidental, Turner’s influence is intentionally embedded throughout the album as a co-writer and producer.

His signature drone saturates Savior’s articulation and his penchant for western guitar riffs over psychedelic hip-hop beats occasionally peak out from beneath the layers of a number of tracks.

The lyrics are also written in Turner’s well-loved story telling style, consisting of intriguing narratives and descriptions of characters that you can't help but feel like you know intimately by the end of each song.

It’s this exact craft of lyric writing displayed in this record that serves to remind us that everyone has a story, and that we are all experiencing different joys and difficulties in life.

There is benefit in having a reflective attitude towards our own lives, as well as seeking understanding of the lives of those around us. Though, perhaps we could approach this with a bit more joy than this record suggests.

Belladonna of Sadness is available on iTunes for $14.99.

Hannah Pho is a worship leader at Box Hill Corps in Victoria.

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