Particle War is the brainchild of two rising stars in the Americana world: Particle Kid (the stage name of Micah Nelson, son of Willie) and Sunny War, a folk artist with a punk background. It’s that fusion of punk and folk that brought Sunny War and Particle Kid together for a collaborative album, which features five original songs and one cover from each of the artists.
Today, Wide Open Country is happy to premiere “Just Memories” from Sunny War and Particle Kid’s forthcoming split LP, Particle War (out April 20).
“Just Memories” was inspired by the loss of one of Sunny War’s close friends who had been a mentor and mother figure to her.
“‘Just Memories” was inspired by the death of my old friend Jan,” Sunny War tells Wide Open Country. “Jan was a homeless woman in Venice Beach who was like a mother to me and a lot of other street kids. She would drink wine with us and tell us stories about when she was a punk rock DJ in the ’80s. I’d ask her for advice and I always knew where to find her because she always sat on the same bench on the boardwalk. Jan died from liver failure, I think. When I got the news, I wrote this song for her and a few other friends I lost to addiction.”
The song is also a reflective look at Sunny War’s own upbringing in Venice Beach, Calif., the good times and bad. It’s an unflinching look at the past that helped shape her into the artist she is today.
“Right there on that bench, that’s where Jan used to sit,” she sings over a sparse arrangement, letting her fingerstyle guitar picking take front and center. “The good times, just memories now.”
Listen to “Just Memories” below:
Particle War was recorded at Hen House Studios in Venice, Calif. In an effort to create a truly collaborative album, both artists take turns backing up one another on each of the songs.
The release of Particle War comes on the heels of Sunny War’s recently released album With the Sun, which features Particle Kid on drums and piano.
Particle Kid released his album Everything is Bullshit in September of last year.