Legendary singer's fourteenth album will be released in October
Leonard Cohen has shared his upcoming album’s title-track to mark his 82nd birthday today (September 21).
‘You Want It Darker’ is the legendary singer-songwriter’s fourteenth studio LP, following on from 2014’s ‘Popular Problems’. It will be released on October 21 via Sony and will be Cohen’s third LP in six years, having not released a record for eight years prior to that.
The album’s title-track was previewed earlier this year on Peaky Blinders. The full version is available now, streaming below.
See the ‘You Want It Darker’ artwork and tracklisting beneath:
‘You Want It Darker’
‘On the Level’
‘Leaving the Table’
‘If I Didn’t Have Your Love’
‘It Seemed the Better Way’
‘Steer Your Way’
‘String Reprise/ Treaty’
It was recently revealed that Cohen wrote to Marianne Ihlen, the woman who inspired his song ‘So Long Marianne’, shortly before her death.
Ihlen passed away during July in Norway, aged 81. Speaking to Canada’s CBC Radio, Ihlen’s friend and documentary maker Jan Christian Mollestad said that he had informed Cohen of his former lover’s ill health and that the singer quickly sent a letter to be read to her.
“It took only two hours and in came this beautiful letter from Leonard to Marianne. We brought it to her the next day and she was fully conscious and she was so happy that he had already written something for her.”
“It said ‘Well Marianne it’s come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine. And you know that I’ve always loved you for your beauty and your wisdom, but I don’t need to say anything more about that because you know all about that. But now, I just want to wish you a very good journey. Goodbye old friend. Endless love, see you down the road.'”
Mollestad went on to say: “Only two days later she lost consciousness and slipped into death. I wrote a letter back to Leonard saying in her final moments I hummed ‘Bird on a Wire’ because that was the song she felt closest to. And then I kissed her on the head and left the room, and said ‘So long, Marianne.'”
Cohen and Ihlen met on the Greek island of Hydra during the 1960s, becoming lovers. The song she inspired – ‘So Long, Marianne’ – featured on his 1967 debut album ‘Songs of Leonard Cohen’.