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Squirrel Flower Neil Young

Squirrel Flower covers Neil Young & Crazy Horse classic, "Cortez the Killer"

15 May 2024, 15:45 | Written by Tyler Damara Kelly

Squirrel Flower – the project of acclaimed singer-songwriter Ella Williams, has shared her cover of the Neil Young & Crazy Horse classic, "Cortez the Killer" – originally featured on their beloved 1975 release, Zuma.

Speaking about her choice to cover “Cortez the Killer,” Williams offered an impassioned statement: "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. Alex offered up their practice space, we ran through it a few times, and then Dimitri and Greg joined the crew day-of. 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."

The performance was recorded live at Cheer Up Charlies in Austin, TX on 15 March, as part of Squirrel Flower’s set at the Stereogum & Topshelf Records Unofficial Showcase. Squirrel Flower’s rendition captures Williams leading her own ‘Crazy Horse’ band of esteemed friends and collaborators, including members of the Squirrel Flower live band, Horse Jumper of Love, Teethe, Truth Club, Greg Freeman, and Polyvinyl label mates alexalone.

Squirrel Flower's cover of "Cortez the Killer" is out now.

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