Leonard Cohen to release new album

Canadian singer says first studio album in six years will sound like 'something good, I hope'

Leonard Cohen has revealed that he will finally release a new studio album next year. "God-willing it will be finished next spring," he said, explaining that most of the songs were written before launching his mammoth, ongoing world tour.

After a decade and a half of quiet – and possibly penitent – seclusion, Cohen returned to performing in January 2008, playing concerts from London to Tel Aviv. But it is six years since Cohen released his last album, Dear Heather, and there had been no sign of a follow-up. This weekend, the Canadian singer finally broke his silence at his induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York.

"I'm producing it," he told Rolling Stone. Despite co-producing several of his records, Cohen has never previously manned the mixing decks on his own. "[There will be] 10 or 11 songs," he said. "One song was written on tour, the rest were written before." Once again, Cohen has teamed up with singer Anjani, and co-written some of the record with long-time collaborator Sharon Robinson. Still inspired by "Tom Waits, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins", it will sound like "something good, I hope".

As songwriting royalties continue to stream in for Hallelujah, a hit for several singers, and Cohen prepares for a November concert in Cambodia, the 75-year-old has also helped Montreal singer NEeMA record her second album. Watching You Think, released 29 June, was "produced in association with Leonard Cohen", including contributions by Arcade Fire's Tim Kingsbury, indie super-producer Howard Bilerman and Rufus Wainwright side-man Tom Mennier. Cohen even sketched NEeMA for the album cover. "In the midst of all the static, a voice of true feeling arises," he said.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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