Daniel Lanois has shared a new song, “Torn Again,” which features a recording of Leonard Cohen reciting a poem. The ethereal number is driven by a steel slide guitar part by Rocco Deluca, which creates a layered backdrop for Cohen’s mournful lines.
“Why did you leave us?/ Why did you leave?” Cohen intones on the evocative song. “You kick off your sandals and shake out your hair/ It’s torn where you’re dancing/ It’s torn everywhere/ It’s torn on the right/ It’s torn on the left/ It’s torn in the center/ Which few can accept.”
“There are moments in this creative journey that stand out in a quiet profound permanence,” Lanois said in a statement. “This Leonard Cohen poem and reading from the man himself, always left me with that special feeling. The framing of Leonard’s reading started as a slide guitar performance with my good friend Rocco Deluca.”
He added, “The spine of our steel guitars became the rock for the poem to stand on. Wayne Lorenz and I spent many hours in the studio rearranging and dubbing out the steel to enhance the lyrical journey with orchestral compliment. I’m very proud of this work, may it keep on reaching and speaking.”
Cohen’s posthumous LP, Thanks For the Dance, was released in 2019. The album features Beck, the National’s Bryce Dessner, Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry, Feist and more. It arrived three years after Cohen’s death in November 2016 and was produced by Cohen’s son Adam, who also worked on You Want It Darker.