Leonard Cohen has confirmed the September 23rd release of his new album Popular Problems, set to be unveiled just two days after his 80th birthday. The album will feature nine new songs and was produced by Patrick Leonard, who worked with Cohen on his 2012 album Old Ideas. Fans that pre-order the album will receive an instant download of Cohen’s new song “Almost Like the Blues.”
“Yet again, Leonard Cohen has broken musical boundaries with new creative inspiration,” Rob Stringer, Chairman/CEO of Columbia Records said in a statement. “These nine new songs are simply sublime and innovative with a unique spirit. We’re absolutely thrilled and honored to celebrate this milestone with him.”
Most of the songs will be new to Cohen fans, though he did debut “Born In Chains” onstage in 2010 and “My Oh My” was played during a soundcheck that same year. It’s unclear whether or not Cohen will support Popular Problems with a tour, though he’s already indicated that he will not be doing any shows in 2014.
As Rolling Stone previously reported, word of the release dropped earlier this month at Leonard Cohen Event 2014, an officially sanctioned fan convention held in Dublin, when Jarkko Arjatsalo, a finnish accountant that runs Cohen’s authorized fan site, revealed plans for a new album.
Popular Problems is the second album that Cohen has released since his miraculous 2008 return to the stage. He’d been almost completely absent from the scene for 15 years at that point, and he stunned his fans by staging three-and-a-half-hour concerts that quickly brought him from tiny theaters in Canada to sold out arenas across the globe.
His primary motivation for touring was to ensure he’d have an adequate retirement fund. “I was able to restore my tiny fortune within a year or so, but I kept on touring,” he told Rolling Stone in 2012. “Touring is like taking the first step on a walk to China. It’s a serious commitment.”
Track listing for Popular Problems
2. “Almost Like The Blues”
3. “Samson In New Orleans”
4. “A Street”
5. “Did I Ever Love You”
6. “My Oh My”
8. “Born In Chains”
9. “You Got Me Singing”