Lana Del Rey‘s upcoming album originally had a very different cover. While speaking with Billie Eilish for Interview Magazine in a Tuesday (Feb. 14) profile, the singer-songwriter revealed that the original cover for Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, her new album arriving March 24, was going to be a photo of her in the nude — but she ended up scrapping it for a couple reasons.
“My original cover was nude, then I thought about it, and I was like, maybe not right now, because there are some other things I want to do where I feel like that could get in the way,” she explained to Eilish. “The idea behind it was, instead of being exposed for things that weren’t true, I wanted to reveal something about myself that I actually thought was beautiful, but in the end, I got nervous about doing that because I was like, ‘Is this an artistic inspiration that came to me or is this a reaction to something I feel is critical about me?’
“I never liked to do anything in response to something that’s fear-based or based on what people think about me,” she continued. “I don’t know if that’ll ever come out, but if it did, I would just want to make sure it came out when I thought it was super fun and not because I had to show something to people.”
Designed by Neil Krug, the Ocean Blvd cover ended up being a blue-toned black and white image of Lana, lying on her stomach with ribbons in her hair, resting her head in her hand as she stares moodily at the camera. “I wanted to take my time and think about what I wanted to express in my face,” she said of the photo shoot.
“That part of the process was a little tumultuous, because I was feeling open, but then I closed down again and wanted to play it safe,” added the “A&W” singer. “But the good thing is that the songs are so wordy that if you listen to them carefully, they’re revealing in the same way the photo would’ve been. I was like, ‘Okay, I’ll let the songs do the talking for now.’”
Lana — this year’s Billboard Women in Music Visionary Award honoree — also bonded with Eilish about the throes of rising to fame and dealing with hate as young female artists. “Everyone gets their fair share of thinkpieces, but there were definitely some 60-page articles about me being the face of feminine submission and the pro-domestic whatever,” she recalled. “That was quite tough, because at the time, I was just trying to figure things out… For me, it was trial by fire,” she added. “It’s definitely a different era now.”
On the same day of the interview with Eilish, Lana released a seven-minute new song off Ocean Blvd called “A&W.” Listen here.