3 artists to add to your tripping playlists

I am not going to write this article telling you to listen to artists like Jimi Hendrix, The Beetles, or Pink Floyd. While those are excellent additions to any trip playlist, many people have thought to put 1 or more of those artists on their playlist. In this article, I hope to put you onto at least one new artist you haven’t heard of yet that will wildly enhance your trip. Or, at the very least, remind you of an artist you may have forgotten about that you would like to revisit.

When taking psychedelics, the music you play is vital. There are a lot of things to consider, one being the dosage you are taking. I don’t know about you, but there are some songs I would prefer to keep on a playlist that is for a more mild trip than a full-on break-through trip. When you take hallucinogens, the senses are not only heightened but they are also jumbled. For example, you may be able to hear and smell a song coming from a speaker. This creates an intricate and intimate interpretation of said song that you will never again be able to replicate!

During a trip, the usual signals we receive from our environment are distorted. Whether that be a visual or auditory signal, your brain is going to perceive it in a very unique way.

Have you ever wished you could listen to your favourite song for the first time again? Psychedelics allow us to have this experience. However, picking which songs make it onto your playlist is critical because having the wrong song play at the wrong time can cause a negative shift in the experience. A song you may love in a sober mind-state may not be as pleasant to listen to when you are tripping. This is why it is always good to have a trip sitter present. This person can change the song for you with ease if they sense that it is troubling you in any way.

Additionally, there are some songs I prefer listening to when I am seeking introspection and there are songs I prefer when I am having a lighter trip. Personally, I like to have 3 playlists for tripping.

1) High dose/heroic dose trip.
2) Medium dose trip.
3) Chill and light trip.

That being said, below I have included 3 different artists for each type of trip playlist.

Music to listen to when you are tripping balls

My first suggested artist is John Frusciante. You most likely know him as the beloved guitarist from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. But did you know he makes his own solo records?

I will immediately add a disclosure: Not all of his music is ‘trip friendly’. Specifically, his older records. When he started his journey as a solo artist, he was struggling with a devastating drug addiction and his music reflected just that. I would recommend checking out his album ‘‘The Empyrean’’ for your next psychedelic trip and seeing how it goes.

The album was written and recorded in the comfort of Johns's home before being released on January 20th, 2009. Although it is difficult to identify the genre of Johns's music, you could label this album as experimental and psychedelic. If you know John Fruiscainte, you know that he absolutely hates explaining his music during interviews because he believes it ruins how others are meant to interpret his art. However, he did touch on this album during an interview with 2009 Music Radar.

The word ‘Empyrean’ can be defined as the place of the highest point in heaven. In his interview, he explained the concept of his album on a surface level, stressing the fact that it runs much deeper than his explanation. He said the album, from start to finish, is somewhat of a journey through highs and lows, while ultimately reaching for height.

This album is best saved for when you want to go far down the rabbit hole while being guided by music. The Empyrean is the soundtrack of a breakthrough! In fact, sitting down and listening to this album from start to finish when completely sober is a psychedelic trip in itself.

Want to discover new depths? Want to develop a new relationship with music? Want to become entangled and the morphing nature of time and space? Want to send your mind in two opposite directions within the same moment? Then check out this album and thank me later!

Music to listen to when on a medium-strength dose

My next suggestion is for when you are taking a below-average dose, while still indulging in those trippy flavors of the psychedelic experience. Introducing: Kokoroko!

This band is a bit of everything. From explosive tunes that make you want to move, to slow and intimate musical arrangements. Kokoroko is primarily instrumentally based with very few vocals. The band hosts 8 unique members who are truly in tune with one another. Their music is beautifully orchestrated, with every instrument coming and going with divine timing.

Kokoroko can be described as an African jazz band with a trippy twist. Whether you are watching them live or listening to their recorded records at home, you can sense the intimate relation each layer of their music has with the next.

This year, they released a new album called ‘‘Could We Be More’’. This is the perfect album to put on when you and your friends are having a cheeky dose of magic mushrooms and are feeling groovy. I enjoy their music particularly when I take mushrooms, however, their music can be enjoyable on other psychedelics as well. For some reason, I just get an extra mushy vibe from this album.

Their EP ‘KOKOROKO’ is also excellent for a more chilled trip. They always set the mood just right, sober or tripping. If you love instrumentally based music and magic mushrooms, play this band next time and see what happens!


Music to listen to on a chilled trip

Moving onto our last suggestion; Greentea Peng. I have so much love for this woman and respect her so much as an artist. Greentea Peng is a UK-based musician and is the literal embodiment of a magic mushroom! She is pretty new on the scene, despite making music since she was a young teen.

On June 4th of 2021, she released her debut album called ‘‘Man Made’’. She has a full band behind her relaxing vocal approach, providing excellent contrast. This album is great to throw on if you are nibbling on some magic truffles with some mates.

Greentea Peng can be described as psychedelic R&B. She always keeps it real with her lyricism, reflecting her views about social constructs, religion/spirituality, politics, morals and what it means to be a human being. Not to mention, she is a green witch and speaks openly about it in some of her lyrics. It is never a dull moment when Greentea Peng grabs the mic!

If you want to move and groove, her Man Made album is an excellent choice. There is one song the album features called ‘‘Party Hard Interlude’’, which I can highly suggest putting on when there is Psilocybin in your system... Give it a listen-through and you will understand why! If you like her Man Made album, I can suggest giving her most recent EP, ‘‘Greenzone 108’’ a listen next. 

Although her voice can be described as R&B, her band is a lot harder to label. An unexpected mixture of jazz, psychedelia, hip hop and musical alchemy. Fewer things will raise your vibe as much as grabbing some mushrooms and/or cannabis and putting on some Peng!


Closing Thoughts

Although I could go on and on about these artists, I will close this article with a few lingering thoughts. I hold all of these artists so close to my heart as well as the places I’ve travelled to with them. Music is a universal language and perhaps one of the greatest gifts of the human experience. 

Music was always meant to be an important part of this experience. Even our early ancestors craved rhythm and displayed that through the development of music throughout history. From clapping our hands to smacking rocks together, to water drumming, to creating drums out of animal skin, and so on… We are creators!

Music is about interpretation and emotion. The fact that we can translate art into emotional impact is a gift that cannot be taken away. Music can literally heal us by accessing parts of oneself that cannot be surfaced without the force of music. It is the gateway to something that is beyond us.

If you are looking for a friend that will share your pain with you, turn to music.
If you are looking to get out of your mind and into your body, turn to music.
If you are seeking out something to be grateful for today, turn toward music.