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Music Room

In an interview with the New Yorker that ran several weeks before he died at the age of eighty-two, Leonard Cohen told writer David Remnick, “I’m ready to die. I hope it’s not too uncomfortable. That’s about it for me.” This morose sentiment doubles as a mission statement for the influential Canadian songwriter’s fourteenth, and final, album You Want It Darker (Sony Music). Similar to David Bowie’s Blackstar, it finds Cohen getting his affairs in order, reflecting on religion and past relationships. Coupled with his son Adam Cohen’s sparse production, these bleaker moments are offset with warm flamenco-influenced guitars, swelling strings, and on the title track, the stately voices of a Montreal cantor and synagogue choir.

As one half of Montreal electronic duo Essaie Pas, with a pair of well-received solo releases to her name, Marie Davidson is a stalwart of the city’s ...

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