Thanks for the Dance is a new album from Leonard Cohen that serves as the first posthumous release from the legendary singer/songwriter/poet/author, who passed away in 2016 at the age of 82.
Giving the whole thing an added layer of legitimacy is the fact that it was put together by his son, Adam Cohen. It was previewed in recent weeks with a track called “Happens to the Heart”:
The story behind Adam Cohen bringing this project to life is pretty great, as well.
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.
This remarkable new album was made in many places. 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 Montrealthe 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.
There’s also a consistently fascinating mini-documentary highlighting how the album came to be, as well.
Thanks for the Dance can be purchased at this link. Stream it below, via Spotify: