The music world lost a true original when Leonard Cohen passed away at age 82 in November 2016, but fans will soon be hearing some new music from the Montreal-born music legend.
In an interview with CBC Radio’s “q”, the “Hallelujah” singer’s son, Adam Cohen, says he’s working on completing some songs that his father left unfinished.
“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and delicious entanglement,” Cohen told “q” host Tom Power while promoting The Flame, a book of his father’s previously unpublished poems that will be released on Oct. 2.
“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.
Serving as producer on his father’s critically acclaimed You Want it Darker album, which dropped just three weeks before Cohen’s passing, Adam Cohen describes the unfinished poems as “extraordinary.”
“There are these songs that exist that he wanted finished,” Cohen explained, “these incredible, powerful readings that were set to music.
As Cohen recalled, he enticed his father to record the poems — which had not yet been set to music — while they worked on You Want it Darker.
“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.’ Some of my favourite poems of his are actually in the vault and I was tasked with finishing them,” he said.
“What’s also beautiful about them is that, unlike the the gravity and the nature […] of You Want it Darker, these have a sort of more mytho-romantic [tone] that resembles his older work, something more romantic. So that’s also more surprising,” added Cohen.
For Cohen, completing his father’s final work is “a luxury and a treat… How wonderful that these songs exist, that I’m going to bring them and see them to completion, not just for me because I’m part of the family business, but for all the people out there who are going to hopefully delight in hearing his language, that inimitable contribution of his. 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.”