Father John Misty Covers Lana Del Rey, Channels the Id of Los Angeles

Josh Tillman covered Del Rey's "Ride" at the ASCAP Pop Music Awards in Beverly Hills last night. Thankfully, the two LA singers are back in the same territory again.

Lana Del Rey and Father John Misty share a city, a sensibility, and a commitment to character-creation. The two worked together in 2016 on the 10-minute-long video for Del Rey's "Freak," in which Misty played an erratic, comic cult leader, but it's difficult to imagine that being the end of things. Misty—born Josh Tillman, and still Josh Tillman from time to time—has called Del Rey—born Lizzy Grant, but rarely Lizzy Grant anymore—a "genius" with whom he'd love to work in earnest. The two new Father John Misty singles that came out the other week suggested that Tillman is (thank God) steering his character back towards sweeping, witty, self-lacerating love songs, one year after trying to diagnose society's folly on Pure Comedy. He's back in Lana's territory.


For proof, the video up top shows Father John Misty covering Lana Del Rey's "Ride," a sweeping standout ballad from her 2012 EP, Paradise. It's a rough cut, but the audio's not bad. Misty, alone with an acoustic guitar, plays it straight, even reaching up to catch Del Rey's near-impossible high notes towards the end. It was Misty's way of presenting Del Rey with the Global Impact Award at last night's ASCAP Pop Music Awards in (appropriately) Beverly Hills. Misty presents the award in his own weird way: "You could take all the crap songwriters and put them in a bunker for a thousand years and they would not come up with 'I fucked my way to the top,' ever."

Please enjoy this extremely Los Angeles moment.

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