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Credit: Samantha Tellez

NEWS: Squirrel Flower releases Neil Young cover ahead of live shows

Squirrel Flower, the project of acclaimed singer-songwriter Ella Williams, has shared her cover of the Neil Young & Crazy Horse track ‘Cortez the Killer’. Young originally recorded the track with American band Crazy Horse and it was released on his 1975 album Zuma.

The cover was recorded live at Cheer Up Charlies in Austin, Texas in March 2024, as part of Squirrel Flower’s set at the Stereogum & Topshelf Records Unofficial Showcase.

Cementing itself as a “beautiful act of protest”, Squirrel Flower’s rendition captures Williams leading a band of friends and collaborators which included members of the Squirrel Flower live band, Horse Jumper of Love, Teethe, Truth Club, Greg Freeman and label mates alexalone.

Clocking in at just over 10 minutes, it is a seething slow burn which captures the rising and falling tension of the original. Williams’ ethereal, almost haunting voice is placed front and centre, floating over an incredible wall of five guitars.

Speaking about the decision to cover ‘Cortez the Killer’, Williams said: “I decided to cover ‘Cortez’ with my friends as a way to feel the power of community amidst the fascism surrounding us that week in Texas. I love Neil Young and his uncompromising convictions, so I thought this song would be the perfect expression against everything going on. I had the idea the day before the show.” Williams went on to say: “We put it all out there with this one. In the words of Neil, it was one of the pleasures of my life to be able to be on this stage with these people.”

Squirrel Flower is currently touring in support of latest album Tomorrow’s Fire, released in October 2023. Shows in the US take place in May and June and include three sold out dates in New York. In July, they will play European cities such as Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona and Madrid before visiting the UK. UK shows include performances in London, Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow.

Full tour details and tickets can be found here.

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