“When my father saw the success of You Want It Darker right before he passed, he asked me, ‘Complete the task. Finish the songs that we started,'” Leonard’s son Adam says in The Story of Thanks For the Dance.
The posthumous album features vocal recordings Cohen made prior to his 2016 death — including some leftover material from You Want It Darker — alongside guests like Beck, Leslie Feist, Damien Rice, Daniel Lanois, members of Death Cab for Cutie and Arcade Fire and more.
“At the time [Cohen] sang these, he knew we wouldn’t be very alive for very long,” Feist says in the mini-doc. “And with all of that lifetime of truth-telling, soothsaying, he presents these new ideas that are very much about living and not about dying.”
Adam Cohen said of the album’s title, “Thanks for the dance of life. Thanks for the highs, the lows, the sweetness, the bitterness, the tragedy, the comedy, the beauty, the sourness, the lightness… it’s what he would have called it. That’s what he referred to it as. ‘This dance.’ How lightly we’re all here.”