Lady Sovereign reigns supreme at the Doug Fir

Lady Sovereign

Lady Sovereign

This Saturday (tomorrow) the pint-sized North London royalty Lady Sovereign takes over the uber-Northwest style Doug Fir Lounge (830 E. Burnside). Touting a new album, Jigsaw, as nuanced as her debut was virile and in-your-face, it is sure to be an internationally urban good time. Joined by Chester French and Hollywood Holt, here’s what your blogger had to say in a recent Just Out feature:

With a ton of retro style and punch packed into that petite 5’1” package, the UK’s Lady Sovereign busts out in more ways than one. And though she’s subtle about her sexuality, the diminutive rapper is hugely brash about females in rap. In short, she’s anything but shy, and sure to fill much more than the stage when she hits the Doug Fir Saturday, May 23.

The SOV’s new album, Jigsaw, incorporates the lyrics and beats of earlier tracks alongside outside sources without feeling stale. Just-released “So Human” borrows its tune from The Cure’s poppy “Close to Me.” Hardly associated with urban culture, the addition of the jangly, manic goth act behind her rhythms infuses just the right amount of novelty to a genre so often mired in its own stereotypes.

“It’s not consistent but it works for me,” she says. “There are genres on there that aren’t even genres. I’ve got a few classic club tracks but also songs that show another side, a more developed style of songwriting.”

The title track’s melancholy melody hears Sovereign crooning how her heart “is like a jigsaw puzzle / pick it up and fix it for me.” It’s reminiscent of the emotional singer-songwriter team of Tegan and Sara.

Jigsaw, released last month on her new Midget Records imprint, is also Lady Sov’s first foray into being in charge. After her departure from Def Jam and Jay Z, she felt the need to take creative control, done here in conjunction with the distribution powers of EMI.

Of the transition, she says, “I feel great now. I feel like I’ve overcome all my dark times. I get to pick who I want to work with. No one can tell me off or make me do things because I’m the boss…I’ve got my own label and everything works my way.”

No doubt, the Doug Fir will also bend to her Lady Sovereign’s steel will. If the audience follows her lead, it’ll be a roiling good hip-hop time.

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