Yeah Yeah Yeahs vocalist Karen O has joined forces with Willie Nelson on a stark and hopeful cover of David Bowie and Queen’s beloved anthem ‘Under Pressure.’
In a lengthy statement, Karen O explained how the cover came to be. O reached out to Nelson via a mutual friend, asking if he’d be interested in dueting with her and he agreed.
“At this point my mind was melting but I had to focus and pull a song out of the ether that was worthy of a living legend and spoke to the people in troubled times, not an easy assignment,” she wrote. “Then like a bolt out of the blue ‘Under Pressure’ came to mind—I’ve heard this song countless times without processing the gravity of what Bowie and Freddie were singing about, maybe because their performances are so exhilarating you get swept away in the high of that duet.”
The result is quietly heartfelt.
“Our cover was meant to be more intimate but just as saturated with the power of love,” O explains. “I can’t listen to this song without tearing up every time Willie comes in, one of the purest voices which of course reflects a pure heart, and I get to sing alongside it. I never knew if it was actually going to happen but you must dare to dream. I hope the song brings as much light to the listener as it has to me in dark times.”
Check out ‘Under Pressure’ covered by Karen O & Willie Nelson:
In related news, the first trailer for the forthcoming David Bowie biopic Stardust has arrived.
The Gabriel Range-directed film stars Johnny Flynn (Emma, Vanity Fair) as a 24-year-old Bowie embarking on his first American publicity tour in 1971. A tour that led to the development of Bowie’s alter-ego, Ziggy Stardust, check it out here.