Lana Del Rey is currently on tour for her latest album Norman Fucking Rockwell, a record that both pays tribute to and grapples with the disillusionment of Seventies rock and folk music.
Appropriately, Del Rey has been peppering her live set with covers of Laurel Canyon musicians; during the opening night of her tour at Jones Beach, New York, she performed Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel No. 2” with his son, Adam Cohen. And at her show in Seattle this week, Del Rey transitioned from her own tune “Cinnamon Girl” (not a Neil Young cover) into a rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair,” a song she’s covered on prior tours.
In both Seattle and the previous show in Vancouver, Del Rey debuted her cover of Joni Mitchell’s “For Free,” a song whose album, 1970’s Ladies of the Canyon, is referenced by name on Norman Fucking Rockwell. She performed it alongside a piano, replicating the sparseness of Mitchell’s original version.
In a new interview with Molly Lambert in the Los Angeles Times, Del Rey hinted at more covers to come. “It’d be so fun to do ‘Hotel California,’” she says. “It’s really hard to sing, though. You think you know it and then seven minutes in you’re like, ‘Oh, Jesus!’” She even brought up the possibility of a full covers album.
Norman Fucking Rockwell’s Sublime cover “Doin’ Time” has become a charting hit for Del Rey, and she recently recorded a version of Donovan’s “Season of the Witch” for the film Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
“Somewhere in the back of my mind, I’ve been coordinating this concept covers album called Pacific Blue,” Del Rey said. “It would be a very low-key thing, like acoustic Beach Boys stuff, Elvis, Chris Isaak. People usually think your career is over when you record a covers album or a Christmas album. But my musician friends and I are always playing covers. We could probably do that album in a week.”