Leonard Cohen appeared at LA’s Canadian Consulate last night to share some details about his new album Popular Problems. Due out September 23 — a few days after the singer’s 80th birthday — it was mostly written and recorded alongside Patrick Leonard (Madonna, Elton John), in a partnership that has already produced half of Cohen’s next record.
“Some of them came together with shockingly alarming speed,” Cohen said of his songwriting process at a home studio (via Rolling Stone). “Usually, I take a long, long time – partly because of an addiction to perfection, partly just sheer laziness.”
One track in particular (the gospel tune “Born in Chains”) took four decades to complete — “I’ve rewritten the lyric many times to accommodate the changes in my theological position, which is very insecure,” he explained — and another (“A Street”) was penned in the days following the September 11th attacks. “The party’s over,” the song goes, “But I’ve landed on my feet. I’ll be standing on this corner, where there used to be a street.”
Have a listen to the album’s lead single (“Almost Like the Blues”) below…