The Grammy-nominated singer dropped the surprise cover on Friday
On Friday, the alternative star, 38, released a one-off single covering the folk music legend’s 1971 classic “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
The songstress’ dreamy vocals lend beautifully to the Americana favorite off Denver’s fourth studio album, Poems, Prayers & Promises. Singing in a deep lull, the track starts out reflective and haunting as the “A&W” artist sings of longing for simplicity. Then, as a choir of voices join in toward the end, it turns into a cathartic finish — like the dream of returning home down country roads isn’t far out of reach.
It’s a fitting cover for the star, who has filled her discography with references to loving overlooked parts of Americana — from the midwest on 2021’s Chemtrails Over the Country Club to places like Alabama on her most recent record — and often sings of yearning for a simple, sweet kind of domesticity.
The singer-songwriter (whose real name is Elizabeth Grant) released the song along with cover art featuring a personal, black-and-white shot of herself, her sister Caroline “Chuck” Grant and her niece Phoenix resting their heads on top of one another while sitting on a boat with a Phoenix motor.
“Take Me Home, Country Roads” arrives several months after the hitmaker sang about the “Leaving on a Jet Plane” artist on “The Grants.” On the opening track to 2023’s Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd, she reflects on wanting to hold onto her family’s memories and croons, “I'm gonna take mine of you with me / Like Rocky Mountain High / The way John Denver sings.”
The cover is one of several songs the “Video Games” singer has released since her ninth studio album arrived in March. Last month, she teamed up with Irish singer-songwriter Holly Macve to release “Suburban House,” and in May she dropped “Say Yes To Heaven,” which was first recorded during the sessions for 2014’s Ultraviolence and scrapped at the time.
Earlier this week, Del Rey covered another American classic — “Unchained Melody.” While appearing on the NBC holiday special Christmas at Graceland, the star honored the late Elvis Presley by singing one of his favorite covers, originally sung by The Righteous Brothers. The performance marked her first live, televised performance since she appeared on Saturday Night Live back in 2012.
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The alt-pop artist is currently up for four Grammy nominations — the most times she’s ever been on the ballot. Her acclaimed album Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd is nominated for both album of the year and best alternative music album, while its sprawling track “A&W” received nods for song of the year and best alternative music performance.
Earlier this year, after headlining several festivals, the performer set out on a mini tour that mainly consisted of stops in mid-sized cities along the South and the East coast. As she wrapped up her final dates, she revealed on stage that she donates “every dollar” made in ticket sales “back into" the cities she plays in.
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