Starz fantasy drama series–based on Neil Gaiman’s novel–American Gods featured the most popular song on television last week with an iconic Leonard Cohen track.
We won’t give away any spoilers, but ‘You Want It Darker’ closes the episode and plays through the end credits. Cohen’s trademark gravelly tones and the haunting lyrics hint of trouble to come in the upcoming episodes.
‘You Want It Darker’ was released as a single and on Cohen’s 2016 album of the same name. The album was released with Sony Music Entertainment.
The Canadian poet, singer/songwriter, and novelist published several books of poetry and two novels before recording music. Leonard Cohen spent six decades in the music industry. His first album was Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967) and was followed by numerous folk music albums. His 1984 album Various Positions featured ‘Hallelujah’ which has become one of the most popular songs in the world. At the age of 53, Cohen reinvented his sound including more synthesizers contrasting his acoustic sound.
Leonard Cohen grew up in Westmount, a suburb in Montreal, and his mother encouraged him to write. At age 13 he began playing guitar and formed a group called Buckskin Boys. Cohen attended McGill University as an English major and earned the McNaughton Prize, a creative writing award. He began his music career in 1967 when he was 33 years old.
Leonard Cohen’s song writing was a natural progression from his poetry. After living in Greece for some time, Cohen headed for Nashville and got back into music. He began performing again in the summer of 1967. His long music career saw a break between 1992 and 2001. Cohen toured between 2008 and 2013 while continuing to release albums.
Sadly, Leonard Cohen passed away in 2016 just weeks after releasing You Want It Darker. He released two other albums in the final four years of his life and a posthumous album, Thanks for the Dance, was released in 2019, his fifteenth and final studio album.
The legendary Leonard Cohen has had song placements in countless movies, television shows, and video games. ‘You Want It Darker’ has been featured in Dickinson, Tin Star, and Assassin’s Creed: Origins.
〉Listen now: You Want It Darker by Leonard Cohen
〉More music by Leonard Cohen
〉Full list of songs featured in the American Gods soundtrack