I have a feeling everybody and their brother will be covering Queen songs in the coming month, as the Freddie Mercury biopic barrels toward release. Earlier this week, Panic! at the Disco gave us a rousing “Bohemian Rhapsody” on the Billboard Awards. Today, cutie-patooties Shawn Mendes and frequent collaborator Teddy Geiger (PLEASE BE A COUPLE! PLEASE BE A COUPLE!) go a slightly different route with their cover of the Queen/David Bowie classic “Under Pressure.” They go all gooey and sweet and acoustic for it, which is an odd choice but it works for them. Kind of? It vaguely takes away from the urgency of the message, but I’m not going to nitpick. The opening chords of the song have always had the power to make me cry, and this is no different. As it begins to build towards a crescendo, Shawn and Teddy really bring it home, and I confess a few tears were shed. This is pretty perfect.
“I am so honored to be able to support the amazing legacy of Freddie and Queen by doing a cover of one of my favorite songs, ‘Under Pressure,'” Mendes says in a statement. “It was so exciting to me to be able to do this with my close collaborator and one of my best friends, Teddy Geiger, for a cause that is very close to our hearts.”
Listen to it below.
And thoug the song isn’t on the official Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack, a portion of its profits will be donated to Mercury Phoenix Trust, which was founded by Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor (as well as the group’s manager, Jim Beach) after Mercury’s death to help fight AIDS worldwide. “Under Pressure” is one of a series of tracks that UMG will release ahead of Bohemian Rhapsody‘s opening on Nov. 2, which will all benefit MPT.
(Photos: Avalon Red)