When it was time for John Grant to record the follow-up to his acclaimed debut album, The Queen of Denmark, many assumed he would return to Texas to record once again with members of Midlake. Instead, having recently visited Iceland for the Airwaves festival he decided to explore the country some more, making 80s synthpop-influenced tracks with Biggi Veira from Icelandic dance pioneers, Gus Gus. One of the songs they collaborated on is the album's title track, Pale Green Ghosts, which was influenced by the long car journeys Grant used to take to clear his head. "I'd take the I-25 between Denver and Boulder, which was lined with all these Russian olive trees, which are the pale green ghosts of the title: they have these tiny leaves with silver on the back, which glow in the moonlight," he explains. "The song is about wanting to get out of a small town, to go out into the world and become someone and make my mark." While the original creeps along tetchily over a disintegrating electronic pulse and sighing strings, the No Ceremony remix – premiered here – beefs up the beats, filters the vocals and even throws in some acoustic guitar for the instrumental breakdown, which makes it more in-keeping with Grant's perceived musical style than the original.
• Pale Green Ghosts is released on 11 March via Bella Union.