When Leonard Cohen died shortly after releasing “You Want It Darker.” there was no indication that that was not his final album. But now his son, Adam Cohen, has put together a collection that’s being described as the late singer/songwriter’s real swan song, based on “musical sketches” from his final days that were fleshed out in the studio after his death. The result, “Thanks for the Dance,” is coming from Sony on Nov. 22.
One of the nine tracks, “The Goal,” has just been released in advance of the album.
A press statement said that “seven months after his father passed, Adam Cohen retreated to a converted garage in his backyard down the street from Leonard’s house, to 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.”
Said Adam Cohen in a statement: “In composing and arranging the music for his words, we chose his most characteristic musical signatures, in this way keeping him with us, 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.”
The musical cast includes some luminaries who had not appeared on any Cohen album in his lifetime, including Damien Rice and Leslie Feist on backup vocals, Bryce Dessner of the National on guitar, and Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry on bass — all of them joining in after Adam Cohen ran into them at a festival in Berlin. Others who played on the sessions in Los Angeles and Montreal included Beck on guitar, longtime Cohen friend Jennifer Warnes on backing vocals, Daniel Lanois helping with arrangements, longtime co-producer Patrick Watson returning to the fold for one song, and Michael Chaves repeating his engineering and mixing duties from the last album.
A track list:
1. Happens to the Heart
2. Moving On
3. The Night of Santiago
4. Thanks for the Dance
5. It’s Torn
6. The Goal
8. The Hills
9. Listen to the Hummingbird