Leonard Cohen Releases New Single Ahead of Posthumous Album Thanks For The Dance

Photo Credit: Kezban Özcan

On Friday, news broke that Leonard Cohen will be releasing new material from beyond the grave. “The Goal,” the first single from the Candian songwriter and poet’s fifteenth album, is available now and the album, Thanks For The Dance, will drop November 22.

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Cohen’s posthumous output has been active since his death in 2016, with The Flame, a collection of poems and notes — including an infamous diss on Kanye West — coming out last year and a documentary directed by Nick Broomfield, “Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love,” coming out earlier this year. However, Thanks For The Dance marks Cohen’s first music to be released since 2016’s You Want It Darker

The album comprises songs that began as sketches from the You Want It Darker sessions that were little more than vocal ideas at the time of Cohen’s death. Cohen asked his son, producer and songwriter Adam Cohen, to finish the works; and the younger Cohen did just that. 

“In composing and arranging the music for his words, we chose his most characteristic musical signatures, in this way keeping him with us,” Adam said. “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.”

Created in a converted garage in his backyard, Adam assembled a cast of important characters from Leonard’s long and colorful career for this record. Javier Mas, the Spanish laud player who accompanied Leonard on tour played Leonard’s old guitar on the record. 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. Daniel Lanois contributed production and arrangement. The Shaar Hashomayim choir, who gave You Want It Darker it’s haunting sound, contributed to a song. Jennifer Warnes, who’s been a long time advocate for Leonard’s legacy, sang background vocals, and Beck contributed guitar and Jew’s harp.

Leonard Cohen’s new album, Thanks For The Dance, comes out on November 22. Listen to his new single, “The Goal,” below.

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