Leonard Cohen - Happens to the Heart

‘Thanks For The Dance’ Available November 22, 2019

(October 25, 2019)  After the album’s initial taste of “The Goal”, “Happens To The Heart” is the first official single from the remarkable new album Thanks For The Dance, an unexpected harvest of new songs from the master, Leonard Cohen. An elegant continuation of his work, Thanks For The Dance was produced by his son Adam Cohen, and engineered and mixed by Michael Chaves.

“Happens To The Heart” features long-time collaborator Javier Mas, who flew from Barcelona to LA to capture the artist’s spirit on Leonard’s own guitar; the Berlin-based stargaze orchestra; famed producer Daniel Lanois on piano; and Zac Rae from Death Cab For Cutie on felt piano. Listen here.

Leonard Cohen is one of the most enduring cultural icons in modern history. His music, writing and art continues to inspire and influence audiences around the world.  In celebration of the release of Thanks For The Dance, Nowness has collaborated with Adam Cohen, to commission new moving-image works from a global roster of filmmakers and visual artists selected from the Nowness universe.  Thanks for the Dance: Artistic Responses to Leonard Cohen, offers a distinct video representation of the music that inspires and accompanies it, an interpretation of Cohen’s life and lyrics that is deeply personal to each filmmaker involved.

Directed and conceived by Daniel Askill, “Happens To The Heart” extends Cohen’s storytelling and explores the core thematics of his poetic lyrics.  Askill, who called the invitation to participate in the project “a humbling honor”, is known for artistic creations using film, photographs, video installation and sculpture in his work, and has directed short films, commercials, fashion films and music videos (Sia, Placebo, Phoenix). “The idea came quickly and effortlessly on my first listening to the music,” Askill commented, “I wanted to make something that spoke to Leonard’s years as a Zen Monk. A quiet symbolic visual narrative that would chart the letting go of ego and the trappings of fame… and the transition into something pure and transcendent.”

The album Thanks For The Dance will be released on November 22 and can be pre-ordered here.



“The Goal” First Track From ‘Thanks For The Dance’

In a posthumous new album, Leonard Cohen has robbed death of the last word.

‘Thanks for the Dance’ is not a commemorative collection of B sides and outtakes, but an unexpected harvest of new songs, exciting and vital, a continuation of the master’s final work. It will be released on November 22, and is available by pre-order today.

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.

And so was born ‘Thanks For The Dance’, a brand new Leonard Cohen album that uncannily recalls the essence of his sound.

“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. “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.”

‘Thanks for the Dance’ is an unexpected blessing, a gift of beauty and strength. Leonard Cohen’s voice has not been stilled. The dance goes on.

Today, “The Goal” premieres, the first of a series of videos from the album. Watch here.

Thanks For The Dance

  1. Happens to the Heart
  2. Moving On
  3. The Night of Santiago
  4. Thanks for the Dance
  5. It’s Torn
  6. The Goal
  7. Puppets
  8. The Hills
  9. Listen to the Hummingbird

The Flame

Leonard Cohen’s The Flame will be translated into numerous languages. Here is a list of the editions planned and their publication dates:

  • The Flame – English (US) – Farrar, Straus and Giroux – Publication Date October 2, 2018
  • The Flame – English (Canada) – McClelland & Stewart – Publication Date October 2, 2018
  • The Flame – English (UK) – Canongate – Publication Date October 2, 2018
  • Die Flamme: Bilingual edition – German/English – Kiepenheuer & Witsch – Publication Date October 4, 2018
  • Bilingual edition – France/French – Seuil – Publication Date October 11, 2018
  • Płomień – Poland/Polish – Rebis – Publication Date October 30, 2018.
  • Portugal/Portuguese – Relogio d’Agua – Publication Date End of October.
  • Finland/Finnish -Sammakko – Publication Date October 2018 (exact date to be confirmed in September).

The Flame - Leonard Cohen


Leonard Cohen

It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away.

We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries.

A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date.  The family requests privacy during their time of grief.


C’est avec une profonde tristesse que nous vous annonçons que le poète, auteur-compositeur et artiste légendaire, Leonard Cohen est décédé.

Le monde de la musique a perdu un de ses visionnaires les plus prolifiques et vénérés.

Une cérémonie aura lieu à Los Angeles dans les prochains jours.  La famille souhaite vivre le deuil en toute intimité.


You Want it Darker album cover

Today we celebrate Leonard Cohen’s 14th studio album YOU WANT IT DARKER, which is now available in stores and digitally worldwide.  To accompany the release of the album is the premiere of the lyric video for the lead single “You Want It Darker.” Click here to watch.

The new collection of startling songs was produced by his son Adam Cohen, and following last week’s global launch event at the Official Residence of the Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles, the accolades for this body of work have been pouring in from around the world.

“What is truly extraordinary about Cohen is not that he is still making albums but that they are as rich, deep and potent as ever,” UK Telegraph – 5 stars

C’est surtout un album d’une rare beauté dans lequel les musiques, à la fois riches et dépouillées, se mettent vraiment au service de la voix à nulle autre pareille de Leonard Cohen qui n’a jamais paru si proche’,” La Presse – 5 stars

“Cohen’s voice remains strong, measured and assured. There is, as ever, flashes of playful humour in his wonderful use of language,” The Irish Times – 5 stars

“Leonard Cohen Makes It Darker. At eighty-two, the troubadour has another album coming. Like him, it is obsessed with mortality, God-infused, and funny,” The New Yorker

“Avec You Want It Darker, disque à la fois puissant et sombre dans lequel il aborde des thèmes qui lui sont chers comme la mortalité et la spiritualité, Leonard Cohen nous prouve qu’il est toujours aussi inspire,” Le Journal de Montreal

“An unquestioned masterpiece. Cohen courts what is most uncomfortable in the human condition and transforms that terrifying unease into something of great beauty – and in the process, some comfort too,” The Arts Desk – 5 stars

“El aroma cálido, oscuro, seductor y reflexivo de la trayectoria de Cohen resulta reconocible en su nuevo disco,”  La Razón

“This is Cohen’s gift to music lovers: a realistically grim, spiritually radiant and deeply poetic worldview, spiked with a romantic thrum and an existential wink,” Rolling Stone – 4 stars

“You Want It Darker, it is such a pleasure to listen to… this album confirms he has much more to say, much more to share, as a sage who doesn’t offer himself as such but rather as a fellow questioner stumbling through.  Yes, Leonard, if you’re asking, we do want it darker,” Sydney Morning Herald – 4.5 stars

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Paul Kalkbrenner Remix of Leonard Cohen’s “You Want It Darker” In Stores October 7th

"You Want It Darker” - Paul Kalkbrenner Remix


Berlin DJ Paul Kalkbrenner’s remix of Leonard Cohen’s new single “You Want It Darker” premieres today, Oct 7 2016. The electronic artist debuted his rendition of the Leonard Cohen track at Lollapalooza Berlin earlier this month. Kalkbrenner gives Cohen’s hypnotic song of religious exploration, a booming bass and an upbeat tempo. The remix is available globally on all digital providers today. Click here to listen.

Paul Kalkbrenner is one of techno’s most successful artists, and been active in the Berlin techno scene since the 90s. He has produced seven studio albums and his single “Sky and Sand” went Platinum with over 200,000 copies sold.  It charted on the German singles chart for 121 weeks, breaking the German singles record. In 2014 he was asked to perform in front of the Brandenburg Gate for 500,000 people to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and this year he was the first techno artist to ever play the main stage of the famed Tomorrowland Festival. After signing with Columbia in 2015, Kalkbrenner released his album “7” in August 2015.

Leonard Cohen’s 14th studio album, YOU WANT IT DARKER arrives in stores on October 21st, 2016, available for pre-order now.

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Album Pre-Order Available Today
Including instant download of single “You Want It Darker”

You Want it Darker album cover

First Single “You Want It Darker” now available for download
and serviced to radio – Listen here

(September 21, 2016) Sony Music Entertainment Canada and Columbia Records celebrate Leonard Cohen’s 82nd birthday with the announcement that his 14th studio album, YOU WANT IT DARKER, arrives in stores on October 21st, 2016.  The new collection of startling songs was produced by his son Adam Cohen, and is available for pre-order now.

The first single and title track, which delves into an unflinching exploration of the religious mind, arrives at radio today. Cohen created this hypnotic groove with the addition of Montreal’s Cantor Gideon Zelermyer and the Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue Choir, whose voices invoke a sound from Cohen’s youth.



1. “You Want It Darker”
Hypnotic groove. The surprise of a great synagogue choir.  An unflinching exploration of the religious mind.
“Didn’t know I had permission to murder and to maim.”

2.  “Treaty”
One of Cohen’s signature melodies. A confession of the selfishness of love and the hope of a correction.
“Only one of us was real—and that was me.”

3.  “On the Level”
An old man’s take on desire.
“I was fighting with temptation, but I didn’t want to win”

4.   “Leaving the Table”
A slow, relentless, and somehow joyous ballad of letting it all go by. A guitar solo you will remember.
“I’m leaving the table, I’m out of the game.”

5.   “If I Didn’t Have Your Love”
A classic Cohen love song: the deep gratitude felt by one heart opening to another.

“That’s how broken it would be,
what the world would seem to me,
if I didn’t have your love to make it real.”

6.  “Traveling Light”
A seeker hits the road and finds the joys of solitude.

“I’m traveling light
It’s au revoir
My once so bright
My fallen star”

7.  “It Seemed the Better Way”
The feeling of a prayer that’s been there forever, but the spiritual comforts of the past no longer available.

“Lift this glass of blood, try to say the grace.”

8.  “Steer Your Way”
A song of courage as the heart moves into the darkness.

“Steer your heart past the pain that is far more real than you.”

9. String Reprise/ Treaty
A brilliant reimagining of “Treaty” as a string quartet; a truly glorious moment ending with a few words from Leonard himself.

“I wish there was a treaty we could sign.”

This great artist continues to astonish us. Uncompromising and urgent, YOU WANT IT DARKER is the latest chapter in Leonard’s significant contribution to contemporary music and thought.

Album pre-order
Single Download
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Coming This Fall

You Want it Darker album cover

(August 12, 2016) Leonard Cohen, acclaimed composer of “Hallelujah”, at the age of 82, is releasing an album of haunting new songs, which the lucky few who have heard it, deem “a masterpiece” and “classic Cohen”. The album is called YOU WANT IT DARKER and arrives in stores this Fall.  As Leonard’s record company for over five decades, Sony Music is proud to be associated with this remarkable achievement.

Produced by Adam Cohen

1. “You Want It Darker”
2. “Treaty”
3. “On the Level”
4. “Leaving the Table”
5. “If I Didn’t Have Your Love”
6. “Traveling Light”
7. “It Seemed the Better Way”
8. “Steer Your Way”
9.  String Reprise/ Treaty

This great artist continues to astonish us. Uncompromising and urgent, YOU WANT IT DARKER is the latest chapter in Leonard’s significant contribution to contemporary music and thought. These startling songs have been beautifully realized in this his 14th and most compelling studio album, produced by his son, Adam Cohen.

Stellar Video: Born In Chains

Posted by Allan Showalter:

Stellar Video: Born In Chains By Leonard Cohen With Sharon Robinson & The Webb Sisters – Las Vegas 2010.

“Born In Chains” has a long history. In a 1988 interview, Leonard lamented, “And this song, ‘Taken Out of Egypt’ [as the song was then titled] took months and months to write. Nobody believes me when I say these things but I have the notebooks and I don’t fill them in an evening.” That version was developed for but not used on the 1988 I’m Your Man album. Even after “Born In Chains” was first performed in concert at the July 27, 2010 Salzburg, Austria show, the lyrics and arrangements changed frequently over the course of the 2010 Tour. It was finally released as a track on Popular Problems in 2014.

The version featured today, captured on video by Albert Noonan on Dec 11, 2010 in Las Vegas, is notable for the prominent roles played by Sharon Robinson and the Webb Sisters.

Click here to watch.