Willie Nelson and his son Particle Kid dropped a new ode to pot on Thursday, just in time for Father’s Day. Titled “Die When I’m High (Halfway To Heaven),” the new duet from Willie Nelson and his youngest son Micah Nelson, aka Particle Kid, is now available via a video on YouTube in advance of its Friday release on digital streaming platforms including Spotify.
“Released just ahead of Father’s Day, it’s a loving tribute to country icon (Willie) Nelson,” Jon Freeman wrote for Rolling Stone about the new track. “A gentle, lilting waltz, ‘Die When I’m High’ starts with Micah singing lines that sound like they have his father in mind, while Willie’s signature guitar accents chime in.”
In a press release, Particle Kid said that the song, featuring vocals and guitar by Micah Nelson and his famous father, had its start in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Sometime back in December 2020, in between endless rounds of chess and dominos, my dad looked up at me and said, ‘If I die when I’m high I’ll be halfway to heaven,’” Micha Nelson remembers. “It took me a second to process, but I said, ‘Dad, that’s the best song title I ever heard. You better write the rest of it quick.’ He said, ‘Why don’t you write it?’ So, I did. That night I wrote it for him, about him. It’s really just a love letter to him. A tribute.”
While “Die When I’m High (Halfway To Heaven)” is written for Particle Kid’s famous father, he said that there is also a message for critics who believe he isn’t enough like the legendary country music icon and cannabis activist.
“I realized it’s also a sort of ‘fuck you’ to anyone who ever thought of me as some lost prodigal son who doesn’t understand him or respect his legacy just because I’ve never imitated his style or pandered to his audience. HE is the one who gave me my Particle Kid moniker after all.”
“We are both freaks, in our time. I’m no prodigal son. I am HIS Particle Kid.,” he continued. “I would never try to be him, or even pretend, because nobody will ever be him. But believe it or not I do relate to the Willie fans because I am one of them. They know how incredible and one of a kind he is. So this song is for the real Willie fans too. They get it.”
New Particle Kid Album Out Now
Micah Nelson released his experimental, psychedelic, future-folk 26-song album Time Capsule under his Particle Kid moniker in April.
“Available digitally, on compact disc and inside a limited edition hempcrete time capsule forged by Micah himself, Time Capsule takes listeners on a trip through various genres, ideas and sounds – an eclectic palette of sonic colors, both familiar and exploratory. Feelings painted together like a collage, as if 90s alt, 60s psych, 70s electric jazz, and some abstract future were all magazines — chopped up and somehow cohesively glued together by Micah’s voice and lyrics.”
An accomplished visual artist, the video for “Die When I’m High (Halfway To Heaven)” features images from Particle Kid.
“I cut the video together using a combination of time-lapse footage I shot at Luck, concert footage of me and my dad performing the song live, and some animated portraits I created digitally of him at different times in his life,” Micah Nelson said of the creative process.
Particle Kid and Willie Nelson will hit the road starting June 24 as part of the Outlaw Music Festival, with shows scheduled across the United States through September. A limited-edition, wood carved single of “Die When I’m High (Halfway To Heaven)” will be available exclusively at the dates.