Montreal residents sing Leonard Cohen from their balconies during coronavirus self-isolation
(Credit: Rama)

The behind-the-scenes story of Leonard Cohen’s new album ‘Thanks for the Dance’

Adam Cohen, the son of the late Leonard Cohen, has completed his work on the posthumous album Thanks for the Dance which closes the career of his father with an imperious sentiment.

Adam, who was employed as a producer on his father’s final album You Want It Darker, explained: “I believe that there are some really beautiful new songs of Leonard Cohen that no one’s heard that are at some point going to come out,” in an interview with CBC. 

The album, which arrives as Leonard Cohen’s fifteenth and final album, has been described as a “continuation” of Cohen’s previous studio album, You Want It Darker—with all the vocals for the new album recorded during those sessions. Despite the material being recorded during the You Want It Darker sessions, Adam Cohen was quick to insist that the new songs should now be “discarded songs or B sides” from the previous record.

Adam added: “Had we had more time and had [Leonard] been more robust, we would have gotten to them. [We had] conversations about what instrumentation and what feelings he wanted the completed work to evoke — sadly, the fact that I would be completing them without him was given.”

Detailing further in an interview with Vogue, Adam added: “In the making of You Want It Darker, a theme emerged—mortality, God,” he explained. “It was a goodbye—but that’s not the way it started. My father was working on many, many songs simultaneously, and we’d begun many of them. And they weren’t discarded because they weren’t to his taste; they were discarded because they didn’t belong to this theme that was emerging.” 

Released through Colombia Records, Adam sought after the assistance of multiple different musicians to work on the material which features contributions from the likes of Daniel Lanois, Beck, Jennifer Warnes, Damien Rice and more.

Now, to coincide with its release, Cohen’s team have released a short film showing the behind the scenes work that went into creating Thanks for the Dance.

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