Take heed to Karen O and Willie Nelson’s New “Below Strain” Cowl
Karen O has teamed up with Willie Nelson for a new cover of the David Bowie and Queen classic “Under Pressure.” It features Karen’s Yeah Yeah Yeahs bandmate Nick Zinner on guitar and it’s produced by TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek. The cover also features contributions from Imaad Wasif, Johnny Hanson, Micah Nelson, and Priscilla Ahn. Listen to it below.
In a statement, Karen O said she asked Nelson through a mutual friend if he’d ever be willing to do a duet. She was shocked when 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.”
“Our cover was meant to be more intimate but just as saturated with the power of love,” she continued. “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.”