Leonard Cohen’s son teases posthumous release of late father’s recordings
Leonard Cohen’s son and former producer is preparing to release a collection of songs his late father recorded prior to passing away in 2016, he revealed in an interview set to air Monday.
“I was tasked with finishing a few more songs of his that we started together on the last album, so his voice is literally still in my life. It’s a bizarre and delicious entanglement,” Adam Cohen told CBC in an excerpt from an interview released Thursday.
“To make a long story short, 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,” he added.
Cohen died Nov. 7, 2016, at the age of 86, three weeks after releasing his 14th and final studio album, “You Want it Darker.” The record was co-produced by his son, a 45-year-old fellow musician and singer-songwriter, and its title track won a Grammy Award in 2018 for best rock performance.
“I would implore him, even though I knew he was in a delicate state, I’d say, ‘Dad, just read this, just read this poem to a metronome and we’ll look at it later’,” Mr. Cohen said of the recording process. “Some of my favorite poems of his are actually in the vault and I was tasked with finishing them.”
The unreleased songs have a “more mytho-romantic” tone reminiscent of Cohen’s older work, his son added.
“You know, there are these songs that exist that he wanted finished, these incredible powerful readings that were set to music. It’s going to surprise and delight,” he added.
Born in Montreal in 1934, Cohen was inducted during his lifetime into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in addition to earning accolades including the the Prince of Asturias Awards for literature and receiving Canada’s highest civilian honor.
His songs have been covered by popular artists including R.E.M., Pixies, Nick Cave and John Cale, among others, and Jeff Buckley’s version of his 1984 song “Hallelujah” was added in 2014 to the U.S. Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry.