Thanks for the Dance is Cohen’s first full-length release since his death in 2016, and was assembled by his son, Adam, from late recordings and new contributions from the likes of Beck, Damien Rice, Leslie Feist, Richard Reed Parry, Bryce Dessner, and Dustin O’Halloran of the neoclassical ambient project A Winged Victory for the Sullen.
“In composing and arranging the music for his words, we chose his most characteristic musical signatures, in this way keeping him with us,” said Adam Cohen in a press release. “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 Goal” is out now as the album’s first single—a short, sparse riff on Cohen’s poem of the same name:
Settling at last
Accounts of the soul
This for the trash
That paid in full
As for the fall, it
Began long ago
Can’t stop the rain
Can’t stop the snow
2016’s You Want It Darker was the final album released during Cohen’s lifetime, and has come to be seen as a kind of self-reflexive kaddish. It was recorded entirely in Cohen’s Los Angeles home, and earned a Grammy for Best Rock Performance.
Cohen was recently the subject of a career-spanning exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York. Though it closed earlier in September, it’ll make its way to San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum on September 17, 2020.
Thanks for the Dance is out November 22.