The six-part HBO documentary series I’ll Be Gone in the Dark may have concluded last month, but Aimee Mann has just released a full version of the opening theme: her cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Avalanche.”
Sharing the same cover art as Cohen’s 1971 album Songs of Love and Hate, Mann’s rendition of the track ups the original’s instrumentation, with a haunting string arrangement to accompany her vocals. “You who wish to conquer pain/You must learn what makes me kind,” she sings. “The crumbs of love that you offer me/They’re the crumbs I’ve left behind.”
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark captured true-crime writer Michelle McNamara’s hunt for the Golden State Killer, which ended with her accidental overdose in 2016. It shares the same name as her book, released posthumously in 2018 — right before former police officer Joseph DeAngelo was arrested for crimes associated with the serial killer. He was sentenced to life in prison in August of this year after pleading guilty to several rapes and murders.
“My husband, Michael Penn, and I had been close friends with Patton [Oswalt] and Michelle for many years and were very familiar with the ups and downs of her research,” Mann said in a statement. “We were completely devastated by her death. I was incredibly moved by Patton’s dedication to getting her book finished and was so happy when he reached out about recording a version of ‘Avalanche’ for the show. Michael produced and recorded it at home, and we were both honored to hear it at the start of every episode.”
“I love Leonard Cohen,” she also told Variety last month. “I’m not somebody who knows every single record, but you know, everything I ever hear, I’m reminded especially what a great lyricist he was. Sometimes a little too oblique. But always, always great. Always evocative.”
Mann released her last LP, Mental Illness, in 2017. A year later, she performed a cover of the Cars’ “Drive” for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.