Time Capsule

Particle Kid

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Time Capsule Review

by Timothy Monger

Particle Kid is the self-described "experimental future-folk" project of Micah Nelson, a rangy singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Los Angeles who also happens to be the youngest son of country music icon Willie Nelson. Over the previous decade, Micah's output has been both prolific and sprawling in nature with sonic touchpoints in psychedelia, lo-fi, indie rock, electronica, folk, jazz and all points in between. As Particle Kid, he presents himself as the consummate D.I.Y. home recordist, chasing whatever creative whims cross his path with an almost hyperactive abandon. His latest project, the double album Time Capsule, collates five years' worth of songwriting, sonic investigation, and whim-chasing. With 26 tracks spread out over an hour and three-quarters, the record could certainly benefit from some trimming, but there is also something a little charming about Nelson's warts-and-all behemoth, which, in this age of singles designed for maximum virality, feels like something of a throwback to the creatively overstuffed '90s when artists felt compelled to make full use of CD's 80-minute capacity. Bursting with interesting guests (J Mascis, Sean Lennon, the Lovely Eggs, and of course his father) and enough quality songs to offset the more difficult passages, Time Capsule is more captivating than it probably has a right to be. Underneath the adventurous homespun production are some of the best and most focused songs of Nelson's career. Highlights include the warmly chugging "Someone Else's Dream" with J Mascis, Sunny War, and Paul Bushnell and the catchy lo-fi psych-folk of "Along the Timey Road." "Love Is Worth," another standout featuring Margo Price, Jeremy Ivey, and Eric Sullivan, detours into dreamy country-rock harmonies with weeping pedal steel and harmonica. Like his older brother Lukas Nelson, Micah has forged his own musical path, one that occasionally intersects with his father's, but is clearly pointed toward new adventures. And when their paths do intersect, it's hardly a conventional crossing. Time Capsule closes with "Amerikan Lyfe," a rambling psych-rock ballad of peppery father-and-son guitar dueling that culminates in a vital repetition of the word "life, life, life."

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Particle Kid 00:24 Amazon
2 Particle Kid 00:49 Amazon
3 Particle Kid feat: Sean Lennon / Mickey Raphael 05:45 Amazon
4 Particle Kid 00:42 Amazon
5 Particle Kid feat: Moskito 06:46 Amazon
6 Particle Kid 01:25 Amazon
7 Particle Kid feat: Paul Bushnell / J Mascis / Sunny War 04:32 Amazon
8 Particle Kid 03:14 Amazon
9 Particle Kid feat: Jim James / Willie Nelson 07:42 Amazon
10 Particle Kid 03:45 Amazon
11 Particle Kid 03:36 Amazon
12 Particle Kid 07:43 Amazon
13 Particle Kid feat: Nikita Sorokin 05:23 Amazon
14 Particle Kid 01:15 Amazon
Particle Kid Amazon
Particle Kid Amazon
Particle Kid feat: The Lovely Eggs / Raman Steve Amazon
Particle Kid Amazon
Particle Kid feat: Jeremy Ivey / Margo Price / Eric Sullivan Amazon
Particle Kid feat: The Nerfs Amazon
Particle Kid Amazon
Particle Kid Amazon
Particle Kid feat: David Ralicke Amazon
Particle Kid Amazon
Particle Kid Amazon
Particle Kid feat: Willie Nelson Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick