English singer-songwriter Passenger has transformed his breakthrough hit, “Let Her Go,” into a duet featuring Ed Sheeran.
The new version of the song arrived Friday, Nov. 10, as part of a special 10th anniversary edition of Passenger’s hit 2013 album, All the Little Lights. Passenger re-recorded the entire LP, enlisting artists like Sheeran, Foy Vance, Gabrielle Aplin, and Nina Nesbitt to help him reimagine the songs.
With Sheeran, Passenger finds new dimensions to explore in “Let Her Go,” bolstering the strings, undergirding the production with piano, and adding a bit of glockenspiel for good measure. Passenger and Sheeran split vocal duties as well, making the song a bona fide duet, with the pair coming together for some irresistible harmonies on the memorable hook. (A video of the pair performing the song in the studio was also released.)
As Passenger’s Mike Rosenberg explained in a statement, Sheeran was the obvious choice to help him re-record “Let It Go” because of the crucial role the pop star played in bolstering his career. “If he hadn’t have taken me around the world as his opening act in the year leading up to the song blowing up, then it simply wouldn’t have happened,” he said. “I owe him an awful lot — he has championed me and opened doors that were securely locked. He’s an incredibly kind and thoughtful person that somehow finds time and energy to lift others up around him even though he carries the world on his shoulders. He’s a constant inspiration and a fierce friend.”
Rosenberg added of the collaboration itself, “I’m sure some people will see this collaboration and assume that it’s for commercial opportunity and of course they’re right – it’s no bad thing to have one of the biggest stars in the world sing on one of my songs!! But like the other three collaborators on this album, there is a genuine and undeniable link that he has had to Passenger over the years and to this song in particular.”
Though technically released in 2012, “Let Her Go” and All the Little Lights blew up in 2013. The song enjoyed massive success, especially in Europe and the U.K., and crossed over to the United States as well, reaching Number Five on the Billboard Hot 100. “That song was ready to be the face of what I did and be a really good advert for Passenger,” Rosenberg told Rolling Stone at the time. “So much of this was dependent on being there at the right time. ‘Let Her Go’ was just another piece, really.”
Passenger has continued to regularly record and release music over the past decade, dropping his most recent album of all-new material, Birds That Flew and Ships That Sailed, in 2022. Along with dropping the 10th-anniversary edition of All the Little Lights this year, Passenger also shared a live album, Passenger (Live From San Francisco).