Listen: Leonard Cohen sings ‘Almost Like the Blues,’ from new album

As Taylor Swift goes, so goes ... Leonard Cohen?

Perhaps not in most matters. But when it comes to announcing new work, at least, the two pop stars are employing similar approaches this week.

On Monday, Swift said she’d finished an album and, as if to prove it, put the lead single, “Shake It Off,” on YouTube.

Now Cohen has followed suit with “Almost Like the Blues,” the first sampling from a studio disc to be released by Columbia Records on Sept. 23, two days after the vaunted Canadian singer-songwriter turns 80.


“I saw some people starving / There was murder, there was rape,” he croaks in his customary deadpan over a typically refined lounge-folk groove; “Their villages were burning / They were trying to escape.”

Co-written and produced by Patrick Leonard, the upcoming album, titled “Popular Problems,” is the follow-up to 2012’s “Old Ideas,” which itself followed Cohen’s return to touring after a long break from the road.

“Yet again, Leonard Cohen has broken musical boundaries with new creative inspiration,” said Columbia Chairman Rob Stringer in a statement. “These nine new songs are simply sublime and innovative with a unique spirit. We’re absolutely thrilled and honored to celebrate this milestone with him.”

Twitter: @mikaelwood