New Leonard Cohen album coming in 2012
Leonard Cohen's next album is on its way, the Canadian musical icon revealed in Spain, where he is being honoured with the Prince of Asturias Prize for his songwriting and poetry.
Old Ideas is set for release in 2012, he told reporters at an event in the northern Spanish town of Oviedo on Wednesday.
"I've played it for a few people, and they seem to like it," he said, according to Reuters.
He added that he could go on tour again "God willing...I never quite know whether there's going to be a tour or not."
The new release includes 10 previously unpublished tracks — some reportedly worked on with his son Adam, a singer-songwriter and frontman of the band Low Millions.
Old Ideas will be the 77-year-old Cohen's first new studio album since 2004's Dear Heather, although he released two live albums from his most recent international tour in the interim: 2009's Live in London and 2010's Songs From the Road.
Internationally minded Spanish prize
In June, Cohen was named one of the latest winners of the Asturias prize, which celebrates international achievements in different fields, including the arts and sciences.
Speaking in Oviedo, Cohen expressed his admiration for Spanish culture and revealed that he named his daughter Lorca after the poet Federico Garcia Lorca, whose work he discovered as a teen.
"He was the first poet that invited me to live in his world," Cohen said.
"Considered one of the most influential authors of our time, his poems and songs have beautifully explored the major issues of humanity in great depth," the jury said in its citation.
Winners of the Spanish honour — who have included Margaret Atwood, Arthur Miller and Bob Dylan — receive €50,000 (nearly $70,000 Cdn) and a statue designed by Joan Miro. Cohen was celebrated in a tribute concert in the coastal city of Gijon on Wednesday and will officially receive the award from Spain's Prince Felipe at a gala in Oviedo on Friday.
The Montreal artist is known for classic songs like Suzanne and Hallelujah — which have been covered by dozens of artists — as well as novels (The Favourite Game, Beautiful Losers) and poetry collections, including 2011's Poems and Stories. Despite the many accolades he's received and his years of experience, Cohen said he still works hard at expressing himself, whether in writing or in music.
"You know, when you're writing, you're always an absolute beginner. Each time you take up your guitar or sit by a blank page, you start from scratch. It's a struggle."