Alexandra Savior McDermott’s debut album, Belladonna of Sadness, was a power-packed set of dreamy, desert rock-y tracks produced by Alex Turner (of Arctic Monkeys fame). Turner’s influences in the record were evident musically, but McDermott’s vocals had enough personality and panache to set her apart from the other artist’s work. On The Archer, she boasts both a new producer (Sam Cohen) and a new label (30th Century), and it is clear that her sound has evolved. She had the songs in the works before turning to producer Sam Cohen and mentor Danger Mouse.
Like Belladonna of Sadness, The Archer clearly showcases the influence of its producer; but once again, Alexandra Savior’s unique flair makes the album her own. Where Belladonna featured a dynamic lineup of seemingly disparate songs (that, nonetheless, worked quite well together), The Archer forms a more cohesive image. Savior explores piano ballads and smoky lounge tunes while always maintaining an underlying current of her signature desert rock sound.
McDermott cites the #MeToo movement and her own experiences with manipulation as major influences. These become especially evident in tracks like the early-released “Crying All the Time,” where she croons lines like, “He doesn’t like it when I cry / But now he’s gone and I’m crying all the time.” As a young female artist in the indie scene, McDermott has undoubtedly had her fair share of difficulty establishing boundaries and learning to stand up for herself.
Though I personally enjoyed the semi-chaotic diversity of Belladonna of Sadness more than I have The Archer, this sophomore album represents a positive trend in McDermott’s budding career.
Recommended If You Like: Lana Del Rey, Fiona Apple, Cate Le Bon, Regina Spektor
Recommended Tracks: 1 (Soft Currents), 2 (Saving Grace), 5 (Send Her Back), 9 (But You)
Do Not Play: None
Written by Jaya Chakka on 02/03/2020