Alexandra Savior’s sophomore album, The Archer, presents dark psychedelic songs with some lighter, softer tracks that can conjure a numerous amount of Lana Del Rey comparisons, and shows how she has evolved as a singer and a songwriter.
A sophomore album by Alexandra Savior was something that seemed highly unlikely considering that she was dropped from Sony’s label. While her debut album was by no means terrible, it did offer a sense of curiosity as to where Savior could evolve as an artist.
That’s where Danger Mouse’s label, 30th Century Records comes in as savior for Savior (pun mildly intentional). Preview tracks prior to the release of the album hinted at classic horror psychedelic sound that was present on her debut record, the type of tracks that can easily fit into the opening credits to a James Bond film. However, it’s the title-track of the album that teased something mildly different from the artist.
With lush piano chords, reverb guitars, and a lovely melody, The Archer painted a beautiful scene of someone falling for their beloved with some morbid lyrics to offset any chances of possible clichés. This lighter side of Alexandra Savior introduces us to the album as “Soft Currents” presents a lonely piano shining down on our protagonist accepting her melancholy status in life. “Can’t Help Myself” sounds like some California dream-pop song that would fit perfectly in the 1960’s or on a Last Shadow Puppets album.
The darker sides of the album are equally engaging as “The Phantom” has Savior presenting such dramatic harmonies with her tremolo voice shaking around the backbone of a baritone voice. This technique is something that could very well come off as silly and cringe-worthy, but the way Savior restrains herself helps elevate this song to a mildly enjoyable haunting psychedelic treat. “Howl” also begs to be repeated with such dark femme fatale-esque keyboards and a howling drone invites the listener to follow Savior’s floating voice. Throughout the 10 song listing, there are no songs that deserve to be skipped.
Among the only flaws of the album are some of the shorter length of the songs. Half of the songs do not quite reach the three minute mark. This only becomes worse as some of the more engaging and catchy songs seem to trap the listener only to end as quickly as it began. Alexandra Savior’s second album is an absolute treat. With amazing production and clever ways to subvert expectations, every track is able to thoroughly bring the listener into Savior’s world for a rapid ten song experience.
Despite half of the songs being slightly shorter, the album is a delightful listen and is deserving of sitting alongside Savior’s debut album.
By Caleb Ortiz