The beginning of Feist’s sparse take mirrors the pace of Judy Collins’ version, which predated the classic Songs of Leonard Cohen take by one month. However, Feist scales back the orchestration and additional instrumentation found on both Collins’ and Cohen’s versions, opting for a lone acoustic guitar and backing vocals.
Feist’s “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye” arrives just three days before the singer is scheduled to perform at Tower of Song: A Memorial Tribute to Leonard Cohen at Montreal’s Bell Center on November 6th. Other artists at the tribute concert – which comes one day before the anniversary of Cohen’s death – include Lana Del Rey, Philip Glass, Elvis Costello, Sting, k.d. lang and Cohen’s son Adam.
“My father left me with a list of instructions before he passed: ‘Put me in a pine box next to my mother and father. Have a small memorial for close friends and family in Los Angeles…and if you want a public event, do it in Montreal,’ Adam Cohen previously said of the tribute concert in a statement. “I see this concert as a fulfillment of my duties to my father that we gather in Montreal to ring the bells that still can ring.”
In October, Feist remembered another late Canadian music great, the Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie, with a heartfelt cover of that singer’s “The Stranger” days after Downie’s death from terminal brain cancer.