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Artists similar to Leonard Cohen

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:10 am
by healthyeatz
I've been searching for music with similar sensibilites to Leonard Cohen whether it's the poetic lyrics, interesting voice etc. If anyone can recommend some great. It's hard knowing what to check out musically. I worked in the music industry for years but it's all changed so I'm adjusting to the new scene but not sure who to check out. I did hear this artist the other day called Trevor Mcshane. His website is http://www.trevormcshane.net Anyhow, Trevor Mcshane has a really unique voice. Some of his material is very poetic and songwriter oriented. Some of it is more Americana than Leonard Cohen. "Port of Call" (on his "Dizzy" release) has some Cohen sensibilities, at least I think so. I'm sure he's got a myspace as well. If you go to the Trevor Mcshane website he's got some videos posted. One of them kind of reminds me of a Cohen tune. Let me know what you think. Please give me a couple recommendations as well. -Greg

Re: Artists similar to Leonard Cohen

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:04 pm
by Adrian
I imagine this may be a too obvious recommendation, but, since it's not been said in this thread, I'll wade in these waters... :)

(And, if it's an artist of a newer generation you seek, then, I'm not going to be aiding you.)

From my perspective, and not just because I'm Canadian, the singer-songwriter with whom I most associate Leonard Cohen, and vice versa, in terms of supreme artistic sensibilities and integrity is Joni Mitchell.

Re: Artists similar to Leonard Cohen

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 1:58 am
by Birdonawire
I'm sure these may be old hat to you but Tom Waits and Nick Cave are for me, the next best thing to Cohen. If not for their ability to work a lyric, then for their non-conformity to industry type/norms.

Re: Artists similar to Leonard Cohen

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 12:12 pm
by Rob
"Yahoo music" has a page on Leonard that has a "similar artists" button to click on. Be sure to look at the "more obscure" option.

http://uk.music.yahoo.com/ar-303984-sim ... nard-Cohen

Rob

Re: Artists similar to Leonard Cohen

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:24 pm
by tomsakic
As women singers are in question, Tracy Chapman is surely close, and also Suzanne Vega - her songs (particularly the early albums) sounds, at lest to me, as female versions of production and mood set by I'm Your Man LP.

Others - Yahoo Music seems to list people who are similar to LC in terms of writing, lyrics, let's say "rock and roll poets". In that way, Lou Reed or David Bowie are surely close, and also Patti Smith.

But when the voice is in question, and musical style, I think the closest are (and all of them in my mp3 player - I have very small range of musical taste):

Nick Cave (who's imitating LC where he can)
Tom Waits (Leonard's favourite musician)
Johnny Cash of American albums
Chris Rea

and also:
David Eugene Edwards (aka Wovenhand, formerly of 16horsepower) - he calls his music the amalgam of Cash, Waits and Cohen.
Robert Fisher, of Willard Grant Conspiracy - also deep voice, dark humour similar to Leonard's (particularly self-irony on the shows)
Chris Eckman of Walkabouts
Mark Lanegan
Stuart Staples, of Tindersticks - mix of Cohen and Cave (more Cave influence)


I think that the situation in popular music - at least the one more underground, in alt-country / Americana (and Henning could help me here) - changed much in last ten years or so. Previously, the usual voice in alternative music was that of Neil Young - crying and tiny. Just imagine Jeff Buckley! (or, as the example of alt.country voice - the great Jay Farrar, formerly of Uncle Tupelo; or Bonnie Prince Billy).
But with Cash's American Series and the rise of Cohen's influence - probably via the raise of Nick Cave's influence! - and particularly with the inclusion of Tom Waits in the cannon - now it's "normally" to have people with deep, Cohenesque vocals, like David Eugene Edwards, or Robert Fisher.


Of course, "Leonard Cohen voice" in popular culture is the term which refers ONLY to LATE Cohen's voice (from I'm Your Man on). Early voice isn't much commented, but its influence can be hear in Kris Kristofferson, and the similarity in Nick Drake (particularly the similarity between first Cohen's trilogy of albums and the three albums that Drake made before his death).

YAhoo MUsic also mentioned The Smiths, what's correct notice - Morrissey has been surely imitating Cohen's way of singing, and that influence (of I'm Your Man again) can also - via Morrissey - be heard on latest Jarvis Cocker record (what Cocker also credited).

Re: Artists similar to Leonard Cohen

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 2:18 pm
by Rob
In Yahoos "more obscure" artists, Billy Bragg comes in just behind Nick Cave and Tom Waits. I remember Lizzie saying she was not familiar with him, so maybe he is not known much outside Europe. You can all give yourself a treat by listening to Billy here....

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_q ... rch=Search

Rob

Re: Artists similar to Leonard Cohen

Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 12:11 am
by jerry
Leonard Cohen
Cohen,Leonard
Leonard
Cohen
LC

Re: Artists similar to Leonard Cohen

Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 2:32 am
by Sebby
I'd say Jeff Buckley and possibly even Wilco?

Re: Artists similar to Leonard Cohen

Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 2:24 pm
by tomsakic
Jeff Buckley no way. He only butchered the song.

Re: Artists similar to Leonard Cohen

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 2:36 am
by Sebby
Yeah...I wasn't even considering his rework of Cohen's song. I was speaking of Buckley in his own right. His words.

Re: Artists similar to Leonard Cohen

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:36 am
by blonde madonna
Joe Henry, Civilians, his best yet. Can't get enough of 'Civil War' at the moment, the music and words - "We nail a sign up above the door, God bless our little civil war".
http://www.calendarlive.com/music/pop/c ... 2634.story

Re: Artists similar to Leonard Cohen

Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 6:05 pm
by echoes
Hi!

Reading the subject and healthyeatz's post I spontaneously thought of Kurt Wagner (Lambchop) and Andrew Eldritch (The Sisters of Mercy). And maybe some songs of Nick Cave and REM...hmmmm!?

Manuel

Re: Artists similar to Leonard Cohen

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:27 pm
by John Etherington
First of all there is absolutely no-one comparable to or remotely like Leonard Cohen, even though certain artists can be said to sound a bit like him, in certain instances. Among artists likely to appeal to those who like Leonard's earlier melancolic stuff, I would suggest Nick Drake, John Cale (on his doomy ballads), and Scott Walker on his first four albums (which contained a lot of Jacques Brel material). It should also be noted that Walker was singing songs about adult relationships and using words such as "naked" and "whore"as early as 1968. However the two artists who I would suggest come closest to sounding like early Leonard, are Michael Chapman and Felicity Buirski. Michael Chapman jokingly says "some of my songs make Leonard Cohen sound cheerful" and this is particularly eveident on songs from "Rainmaker/Fully Qualified Survivor" such as "One Time Thing", "No Song to Sing", "Postcards of Scarborough" and "Rabbit Hills". It is even more evident on later songs such as "Vanity and Pride" from "Dreaming Out Loud" and "That Time Of Night" (Michael's most Cohenesque song) on an album called simply "Michael Chapman". However, there are limits as to how far a Yorkshireman rooted in blues, jazz, country, rock and soul can sound like Leonard Cohen!. Felicity Buirski, on the other hand, has out-shone Leonard himself by releasing only two albums in nineteen years, and the first of these "Repairs and Alterations" is probably the most Cohenesque album in existence (Leonard gets an acknowledment on the cover). The album is currently unavailable, but if "Songs and Love" had a sister, then this is surely it. Leonard's influence is unmistakable on virtually every song, but the extraordinary thing about the album is that it's impossible to say that Leonard is being "copied" per se.

All good things, John E

Re: Artists similar to Leonard Cohen

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:46 pm
by Bartleby
The artist I consider to sound most like Leonard Cohen is Simon Joyner. I have a couple of his CDs "Hotel Lives" and the Lousy Dance" and they both sound spookily like early LC. The albums are downbeat and sparsely arranged. Was he influenced by LC or is it just coincidence? Well he's Canadian and one of his albums is called "Beautifu Losers: Singles and Compilation Tracks 1994 - 1999". Draw your own conclusions.

But sensibility wise it's rather trickier. Nick Cave? There's certainly an overlap but there are are also lots of differences. Just listen to the Grinderman CD......

Bartleby

Re: Artists similar to Leonard Cohen

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:08 pm
by lizzytysh
. . . both sound spookily like early LC. The albums are downbeat and sparsely arranged. . . . Well he's Canadian and one of his albums is called "Beautifu Losers: Singles and Compilation Tracks 1994 - 1999"
Okay... let's try to guess and see how well we do. Nah. Couldn't be ;-) .


~ Lizzy