With just two singles circulating, elusive Los Angeles artist FRND has been making West Coast waves with a worldwide wake. “Friend” and “Sticks And Stones” have gathered over two million streams combined, and the mysterious creator behind the hits seems to just be getting started. This Friday, January 27, FRND will release a dual animated video for both of these tracks and we imagine more output will follow shortly after.

In the meantime, though, we have a special treat for you: Cartel frontman Will Pugh has taken FRND’s smooth, bass-steady jam, “Sticks And Stones,” and deconstructed it into an equally smooth but stripped-down acoustic-pop imagining that does the source material justice with great likeness and radio-ready accessibility while still existing as an entirely new enterprise. You can check out Pugh’s take below along with some words from FRND and find the original version of “Sticks And Stones” here for comparison.

“I was honored to have Will Pugh from one of my favorite bands, Cartel, make his own version of ‘Sticks And Stones.’ He was able to bring in a melodic feel that really captured the dark lyrical content.”

Keep your eyes and ears peeled for more from FRND this year. The artist, whose identity has been kept under wraps, is signed to E. Kidd Bogart’s and Eman Kiriakou’s label, Crooked Paintings, and whether it be new music, features, or production work, we expect to see more from FRND in no time at all. Follow the journey on Facebook and Twitter.