It has been confirmed today that Leonard Cohen‘s estate will be releasing a brand new album of unheard new songs this year. The album will be called Thanks for the Dance and will, in the words of the press release, “rob death of the last word”.
Unlike most posthumous albums Thanks for the Dance is not a commemorative collection of B sides and outtakes, but instead, it’s an unexpected glut of new songs, exciting and vital, and acts as a continuation of the master’s final work. It will be released on November 22nd but is available by pre-order today.
Following the death of his father Leonard, Adam Cohen retreated to a converted garage in his backyard down the street from Leonard’s house, to, in some way, work with his father again, to stay in the company of his voice. From their previous collaboration on ‘You Want It Darker’ there remained bare musical sketches, at times little more than vocals. Leonard had asked his son to bring these works to completion.
The press release offers a global view of the album’s completion, perhaps brought to fruition through their hard work to hear Leonard just one more time. “Javier Mas, the great Spanish laud player who accompanied Leonard on stage for the last eight years of touring, flew from Barcelona to Los Angeles to capture the artist’s spirit on Leonard’s own guitar.”
“In Berlin, at a musical event called People Festival, Adam invited friends and comrades to lend their ears and talents. Damien Rice and Leslie Feist sang. Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire played bass. Bryce Dessner of The National played guitar, the composer Dustin O’Halloran played piano. The Berlin-based choir Cantus Domus sang, and the s t a r g a z e orchestra played.”
“In Montreal the famed producer Daniel Lanois dropped in, beautifully enriching sparse arrangements. The Shaar Hashomayim choir, who played such important part of the sound of the last album, contributed to a song, and Patrick Watson brought his inimitable talent as co-producer to a song.”
“Back in Los Angeles Jennifer Warnes, one of the keepers of Leonard’s flame, sang background vocals, and Beck contributed on guitar and Jew’s harp. Michael Chaves, who elegantly recorded and mixed ‘You Want It Darker’, did the engineering and mixing.”
And from this amalgamation of extraordinary talent, all focused on delivering one final word from the master, Thanks For The Dance was born.
“In composing and arranging the music for his words, we chose his most characteristic musical signatures, in this way keeping him with us,” said Adam Cohen. “What moves me most about the album is the startled response of those who have heard it. ‘Leonard lives’! they say, one after the other.”
Today, “The Goal” premieres, the first of a series of videos from the album. Watch below.
Thanks For The Dance
- Happens to the Heart
- Moving On
- The Night of Santiago
- Thanks for the Dance
- It’s Torn
- The Goal
- The Hills
- Listen to the Hummingbird