We’ve had the weekend to mull over Lana Del Rey’s cover of “Chelsea Hotel No. 2,” and our conclusion — like much of the internet — is that we can’t quite believe we’re saying this, but we really rather like it. It also got us thinking about how relatively few great covers of Cohen songs there have been by female artists. In a way, this makes sense — Cohen’s songs are quintessentially male in their own lugubrious way. But still, we’re always up for a challenge, so we’ve rounded up a selection of some of our other favorite female-fronted Cohen covers. Let us know if we missed any.
Marissa Nadler — “Famous Blue Raincoat”
This is a difficult one to take on, given that of all Cohen’s songs, it’s perhaps the one most identified with him as a narrator (it even ends, “Sincerely, L. Cohen”), but the ever-wonderful Marissa Nadler imbues it with enough personality for it to work as her own song. The multi-textured vocal arrangement, in particular, is both beautiful and haunting, making the song as creepy as it is melancholy.