#HauteSounds: Farewell, Leonard Cohen
2016 has been a heartbreaking one for music lovers. First it was David Bowie, then we lost Prince, and now we have had to bid a teary farewell to Leonard Cohen. After a career that spanned 50 years, Leonard Cohen passed away at his home yesterday at the age of 82 after the release of his final album, You Want It Darker on Oct 21, 2016. Born in 1934 to a Rabbi father, Cohen was one of the definitive singer-songwriters to emerge in the late ’60s. In case you’ve never heard his music, we suggest you start with I’m Your Man. This version is from Leonard Cohen’s 2014 concert in London — go ahead and start this playlist, then let the music take over.
To call Leonard Cohen an influential musician would be a disservice to his stellar songwriting prowess. Although we’re big fans of his gruff, almost gravelly bass voice, we suggest you go ahead and give the lyrics of any of his songs a read — you’ll be touched by the sheer poetry and cadence of his words that belie a world of emotion. His words will take you on his journey, as he searched for the light in the darkest of places. He liked to describe his songs as “investigations” into the hidden mechanics of love, sex, war, religion, and death – the beautiful and terrifying truths of existence.
His influence transcended generations, contemporary artists like Justin Timberlake, Regina Spektor, Jennifer Hudson, Jeff Buckley, took to Twitter to lament the death of the beloved singer-songwriter. Even the Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau, gave his condolences via a press release, “Leonard Cohen is as relevant today as he was in the 1960’s. His ability to conjure the vast array of human emotion made him one of the most influential and enduring musicians ever. His style transcended the vagaries of fashion.”
As Bette Midler said, “Another magical voice stilled.” Thank you for the music, Leonard Cohen.