Emily Wells’ lonesome, dryly-sung “Passenger”–the first single off her upcoming Mama LP, out April 10 on Partisan Records–makes for a curious remix subject. What, you ask, could veteran DJ Kid Koala do with a song whose makeup is already so ghostly? In short, the answer is “A lot.” But, rather than deconstruct Wells’ original to completely repurpose it, Koala, real name Eric San, takes “Passenger” apart and looks inside.
By further stripping its bare instrumental, this remix unearths latent feeling in the music. The string intro is replaced by solemn piano and quiet electronics, and Koala lets Wells’ vocal melody lead the track for the first minute and a half. Outside of this, there are two distinct differences between the versions. First, Koala separates the music from the singing, which gives both aspects of the song more strength. And second, he adds a relentless, drum-filled climax, in which Wells’ gentle voice still manages to ride. You can stream and download Kid Koala’s take below.