Best Music For Mushrooms

Psychedelics are known for sparking everything from vibrant visuals to soul-stirring encounters that might just rewire your brain. Although several external elements—like your surroundings and mindset—can steer this voyage, it turns out that music may have the deepest impact on your emotional state during this experience. Choosing the right tunes for shrooming is crucial.

The influence of music on psychedelic journeys isn’t merely based on personal stories; it’s rooted in neuroscience. Research shows that both music and psychedelics disrupt the usual networking in the brain, particularly patterns linked to self-centered thoughts and ego. This interference allows for significant shifts in how we perceive ourselves and the world, facilitating deep emotional releases.

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What’s the Ideal Playlist for a Mushroom trip?

Choosing the perfect music for a Magic mushroom experience can significantly influence the journey’s depth and impact. While the iconic psychedelic rock of the late sixties often springs to mind, there are numerous options to explore. Online resources are abundant, offering detailed guides to craft the ultimate tripping playlist filled with these classic tracks. However, the musical landscape for such experiences is broader than it might initially appear.

In clinical research settings, where the effects of psychedelics are studied under controlled conditions, classical music is frequently used. This choice isn’t arbitrary—classical music’s complex structures and soothing melodies are thought to facilitate a more introspective and smooth experience. We’ll explore the reasons behind this preference in more detail later on.

Despite the pull towards well-known psychedelic or classical music, it’s important to consider the specific characteristics of the music chosen. Songs that are lyrically dense or feature abrupt, loud sounds can sometimes lead to disorientation, pulling individuals away from a contemplative state. To avoid this, many recommend opting for ambient or instrumental tracks. These genres typically provide a consistent, gentle background that enhances introspective thought without overwhelming the senses. By selecting the right kind of music, you can create a more conducive environment for exploration and personal insight during your psychedelic journey.


Exploring the World of Ambient Electronic Music

Ambient music, recognized for its atmospheric tones and expansive soundscapes, traces its roots back to the 1970s with key figures like Brian Eno, often celebrated for naming the genre. Over the decades, ambient music has grown to include a vast array of sounds and styles, all focused on crafting immersive auditory experiences. This genre is particularly effective at creating environments that are engaging yet subtle, making it perfect for activities like meditation, relaxation, and setting the mood for a psychedelic trip.

At the core of ambient music is its power to stir emotions through layered melodies. While some bands like Portishead and Explosions In the Sky might not be purely ambient, they weave ambient elements seamlessly into their ethereal, post-rock soundscapes. Techniques such as bowed guitars, sparse vocals, and atmospheric melodies contribute to their music’s profound emotional impact and expansiveness. For a taste of this unique blend, check out the curated ambient mix linked below, which captures the essence of the genre’s tranquility and depth.

The Evolution of Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock emerged from the countercultural embers of the 1960s, deeply intertwined with the ideals of peace, love, and an expanded consciousness. This genre sought to emulate the mind-altering experiences of the era’s popular psychedelic drugs, pushing listeners to break free from societal norms and embrace a more spiritual, philosophical approach to life.

Iconic bands like Pink Floyd, The Beatles, and The Zombies are considered pioneers in the psychedelic rock pantheon, setting foundational sounds that many still revere today. However, the flame of psychedelic rock is kept burning by newer bands who take up its mantle with zest. One such band is the Australian ensemble King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. Known for their prolific output and innovative spirit, they’ve released 25 studio albums exploring a vast array of sounds, from jazz-rock expanses to spaghetti Western soundscapes. Another modern torchbearer is Khruangbin, a band celebrated for blending classic psychedelic textures with Middle Eastern soul, crafting a sound that is both rooted in tradition and refreshingly novel.

For those looking to dive deeper into the history of this vibrant genre, detailed explorations are available. Alternatively, you can experience the enduring appeal of psychedelic rock through a curated playlist of classic and contemporary tracks below. 

Shoegaze: Gazing Beyond the Pedals

The genre of shoegaze got its quirky name from performers’ habit of gazing down at their shoes or effects pedals during live shows, an image as evocative as the music itself. This distinctive style originated in the United Kingdom during the late 1980s, quickly becoming known for its lush, ethereal soundscapes, layers of distorted guitars, and vocals that prioritize atmospheric texture over conventional song structures. The genre’s dreamy, almost hypnotic tracks might just ease listeners into a psychedelic slumber.

Shoegaze was defined by seminal bands like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, and Ride, whose groundbreaking work in the late eighties and early nineties set the stage for the genre’s enduring appeal. Over the past decade, shoegaze has seen a vibrant resurgence, with a new generation of artists expanding on its foundational sounds.

Today’s shoegaze scene is a rich tapestry of innovation and homage. Bands like Beach House have softened the genre’s edges, intertwining dreamy shoegaze melodies with the shimmering aesthetics of dream pop. Wooden Shjips bring a hypnotic quality with their kraut-rock rhythms and psychedelic flair, firmly rooted in rock’s raw energy. Meanwhile, Ringo Deathstarr revisits shoegaze’s noisier, more aggressive origins, delivering dense sonic layers and feedback-laden guitars that hark back to the genre’s heyday. These contemporary artists are not only preserving shoegaze’s legacy but are also pushing its boundaries, exploring everything from tranquil melodicism to raw psychedelic intensity.

Dive into the immersive world of shoegaze with a curated mix that showcases both the tranquil and turbulent spirits of the genre. Listen to the Shoegaze mix below.

Modern Psychedelia and Neo-Psychedelic Bands

The psychedelic music scene continues to evolve, with contemporary bands and artists adding fresh layers and modern twists to the rich tapestry of psychedelic sounds. Bands like Tame Impala, MGMT, and The Flaming Lips are at the forefront of this movement, blending traditional psychedelic motifs with innovative production techniques to create music that resonates with today’s listeners.


  • Tame Impala: Led by the multi-talented Kevin Parker, Tame Impala is a project that has redefined psychedelic music for the modern era. Albums like “Currents” and “The Slow Rush” showcase a blend of lush synths, dreamy vocals, and introspective lyrics. The music is immersive, creating a soundscape that’s as expansive as it is emotionally deep. Tame Impala’s sound is a journey into the self, exploring themes of personal growth and emotional turmoil with a distinctly psychedelic touch.
  • MGMT: Known for their hit “Electric Feel,” MGMT has a knack for creating catchy, electro-pop tunes that are steeped in psychedelic influences. Their music combines groovy melodies with quirky, sometimes bizarre lyrics that can transport listeners to a whimsical, surreal world. Albums like “Oracular Spectacular” and “Congratulations” delve into the exploration of consciousness and perception, offering a playful yet profound take on the neo-psychedelic genre.
  • The Flaming Lips: This band is synonymous with the term ‘psychedelic rock’ for many fans. With a career spanning several decades, The Flaming Lips is known for its experimental soundscapes and theatrical live performances. Albums like “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” and “The Soft Bulletin” are full of complex, layered sounds and existential themes, wrapped in a sonic package that feels both alien and deeply human.


Exploring the World of Concept Albums

For those in search of a musically immersive experience that revolves around a single, cohesive theme, concept albums are the perfect choice. These albums are defined by their unified narrative structure, allowing artists to engage in deep auditory storytelling. This method of musical expression connects with listeners on a profound level, guiding them through a journey filled with varied emotions and reflective moments.

Concept albums provide a unique opportunity for artists to explore and develop a central theme extensively, often weaving complex stories that unfold song by song. Because of this intricate setup, presenting a mixed selection of tracks from different concept albums could disrupt the narrative flow and lessen the intended impact. To honor the artists’ creative visions and enhance your listening experience, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite concept albums ideally suited for an introspective trip. These selections promise to offer a rich and cohesive auditory journey, perfect for those looking to delve deep into a thematic exploration.


The Wall by Pink Floyd: A Psychedelic Masterpiece

“The Wall,” by Pink Floyd, is not just an album; it’s an odyssey into the depths of abandonment, despair, and the horrors of war. Since its debut, it has been hailed as a groundbreaking classic, weaving a complex auditory tapestry that continues to resonate with audiences. The album narrates the life of Pink, a fictional rock star who, overwhelmed by the weight of his past and the pressures of his life, constructs a metaphorical wall to isolate himself from the world. This narrative draws a parallel to the real-life experiences of Pink Floyd’s bassist, Roger Waters, adding a layer of authenticity to the emotional depth of the album.

From the haunting lyrics to the stirring melodies, each track builds on the next, encapsulating a journey through Pink’s psyche as he confronts his inner demons and societal alienation. “The Wall” stands as a profound musical exploration of human emotion and trauma, making it an essential experience for any psychedelic journey. Its ability to evoke a spectrum of emotions and provoke thoughtful introspection ensures its place as a timeless piece in the realm of concept albums.



Kid A by Radiohead: A Defiant Take on the Concept Album

Radiohead’s “Kid A” might stir some debate among purists about whether it qualifies as a true concept album, but it undeniably shares many traits with the genre. This album marked a bold departure from the band’s earlier reliance on traditional rock instrumentation, embracing a more experimental and electronic sound palette instead.

“Kid A” is characterized by its use of recurring musical motifs and lyrics that appear to be assembled almost randomly, creating a rich, psychedelic tapestry of sounds. These elements contribute to a feeling of disorientation and alienation, mirroring the themes of modern angst and technological overload that permeate the tracks.

The album operates on an expansive scale, both sonically and emotionally, offering listeners a deeply immersive trip experience. Through its innovative structure and sound, “Kid A” challenges and expands the boundaries of what a concept album can be. It stands as a testament to the idea that the essence of a concept album lies not just in a linear narrative, but in its ability to evoke a profound, cohesive experience through music.


Johns Hopkins and the Psychedelic Music Playlist of Bill Richards

At Johns Hopkins, the influence of music on psychedelic research has been profoundly shaped by psychologist Bill Richards. His meticulously crafted playlist has been a cornerstone of the university’s psychedelic studies for more than twenty years, initially stemming from his pioneering work in 1967 at Spring Grove Hospital Center. These trials have extensively explored the therapeutic potential of substances like LSD and psilocybin, investigating their effects on conditions such as pain and depression, and even their impact on the professional insights of mental health workers.

Richards’ playlist is thoughtfully segmented to match the distinct phases of a psychedelic session—from the onset through the peak and into the gentle return to baseline, often referred to as the “welcome back” phase. Each phase of the journey is accompanied by specific musical selections designed to enhance and support the emotional and psychological experiences of the participants. The playlist begins with melancholic guitar concertos, setting a reflective tone, and culminates in the familiar and comforting strains of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” guiding participants back to a sense of normalcy and peace.

The careful curation of music in this playlist underscores the critical role that auditory elements play in shaping the depth and quality of the psychedelic experience. Each track is chosen not only for its musical value but for its ability to accompany and enhance the shifting emotional landscapes that characterize these profound journeys. This approach demonstrates a deep understanding of how music and mind interact, offering a supportive soundscape that fosters a meaningful and transformative experience for those participating in the trials.

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