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We Found the Best Music for Mushroom Trips

Because nothing kills your trip quite like the wrong soundtrack.

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DoubleBlind Mag is devoted to fair, rigorous reporting by leading experts and journalists in the field of psychedelics. Read more about our editorial process and fact-checking here.

From trippy visuals to transcendental encounters that have the power to rewire our brains, psychedelics can inspire powerful experiences. While many outside factors—including your set and setting—can influence your mind and body during this journey, it seems like nothing can affect your emotions more than music: It’s important to have the right music for shrooming.

Music’s capacity to affect the psychedelic experience is not just anecdotal; it is grounded in the neuroscientific understanding of how both music and psychedelics influence the brain. Both stimuli have been shown to disrupt your mind’s normal networking processes, a cerebral pattern of activity associated with self-referential thoughts and the ego. Allowing for profound shifts in perspective and emotional catharsis. 

What is the Best Shroom Music, Anyway?

So what should you listen to while tripping? The psychedelic sounds of the late sixties may seem like the obvious choice, and there are even online guides dedicated to the art of building the perfect playlist for tripping. Although clinical trials tend to use classical music (more on that later) during their studies, it is generally thought that songs with lots of words or sudden bursts of noise can be disorienting and distract you from your experience. Instead, opt for ambient or instrumental tracks that will enhance your journey, allowing you time for introspection. 

READ: Shrooming at the Symphony: How Does Music Affect the Psychedelic Experience?

Deeper Learning

The psychedelic music scene in the West is very different from the music that traditionally accompanies plant medicine journeys in Indigenous communities. Author Bett Williams covers the musicality of María Sabina, whose chants accompanied her work as a sabia—a Wise Woman in Mazatec communities.

While navigating the realm of psychedelic experiences, take extra care to consider the ambiance and your mindset. These elements can play a pivotal role in influencing your trip. If the thought of solo travel through your psyche seems daunting, make the journey a shared adventure—just make sure it’s with someone you trust. 

Whether you are looking to discover new music for a playlist of your own or ready to push play on a mix right now, we invite you to read on and discover the best music for mushroom trips.

Ambient Electronic 

Ambient music is known for its tone, atmosphere, and diverse soundscapes. The genre originated in the 1970s with pioneers like Brian Eno, who is often credited with coining the term. Since then, it’s evolved to encompass a wide range of sounds and styles, all unified by their focus on creating immersive auditory environments. Designed to envelop the listener in a sound that can be both engaging and unobtrusive, ambient electronic music is perfect for meditation, relaxation and an ideal atmosphere for your trip. 

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The essence of the music is its ability to evoke emotion using layers of melody. While not purely ambient, bands like Portishead and Explosions In the Sky incorporate elements of ambient music into their ethereal, post-rock sound. Their use of bowed guitar, minimal vocals, and atmospheric melodies creates music that is deeply emotive and expansive. Listen to a great ambient mix below.

Experimental Electronic 

The allure of listening to experimental electronic music while tripping stems from its element of surprise and its capacity to paint vast, expansive realms that encourage psychedelic exploration. By casting aside predictable rhythms, it invites the mind to roam untethered, liberating it from the confines of structured musical norms. 

Artists like Jon Hopkins, and Flying lotus exemplify this genre’s magic, blending piano harmonies with layered electronic elements to navigate through contrasting realms of light and dark. This musical approach facilitates a deeper, more expansive exploration of consciousness, dissolving the usual barriers between yourself and the external world, and enriching your psychedelic voyage. Curious? Listen to an experimental electronic mix below.

READ: Watch the Vibrations of Ayahuasca Songs on Water

Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic Rock

Rising from the ashes of the counterculture hippie movement of the sixties, psychedelic rock is anchored in the ideals of peace, love, and expanded consciousness. Using music to replicate the mind-expanding drugs that were popular in the scene, psychedelic rock encourages listeners to ditch conventional norms, advocating instead for freedom of expression, and exploring a more spiritual and philosophical way of thinking.

While bands like Pink Floyd, The Beatles, and The Zombies all have a spot on the Mt. Rushmore of psychedelic music, newer bands continue to carry the torch. Australian experimental outfit King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have built a well-earned reputation as one of the most prolific, adventurous, and inventive bands of the modern era, releasing 25 studio albums that range from expansive jazz-rock to spaghetti Western soundscapes. Khruangbin are another dynamic force in contemporary psychedelia, known for their eclectic sound that highlights middle eastern soul with classic psychedelic textures to create a sound that is rooted in history yet still fresh.

You can find a more detailed look at the history of psychedelic music here, or listen to a playlist of some favorites below.

Shoegaze

The name shoegaze comes from the musician’s tendency to stare at their own shoes or effects pedals during live performances. The genre emerged in the United Kingdom during the eighties. Characterized by its ethereal soundscapes, distorted guitars, and vocal textures that focus on atmosphere over traditional song structure, the dreamy tracks on this mix may lull you into a psychedelic slumber. 

Bands like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, and Ride are seminal to the genre, which has experienced a resurgence over the last decade, with a new wave of artists building on the foundation laid by the pioneers of the late eighties and early nineties.

Contemporary shoegaze continues to push the genre into new territory. With dreamy melodies and ethereal tones, bands like Beach House offer a softer, more introspective take on shoegaze, blending it seamlessly with sparkling dream pop elements. Wooden Shjips infuses their music with hypnotic, kraut-rock rhythms cut with a psychedelic edge, creating a mesmerizing sound grounded in rock. Another band to see success in the shoegaze scene is Ringo Deathstarr. The trio dives into the genre’s noisier and more aggressive roots, delivering dense layers of sound and feedback-laden guitars that echo shoegaze’s early days. Together, these bands continue to carry the torch, from its most tranquil and melodic to its most raw and psychedelic and beyond. Listen to the Shoegaze mix below.

READ: Incubus Lead Singer Brandon Boyd Talks Psychedelic Drugs

Concept Albums

If you are looking for a deeply immersive musical experience featuring one cohesive theme throughout, then look no further than a concept album. Usually featuring a unified narrative structure, concept albums allow artists to utilize rich, auditory storytelling to reach listeners at a profound level, guiding them through a spectrum of emotions and thoughts throughout. Since including a mix of our favorite concept albums would be detrimental to the artists’ intentions–and your listening experience, we’ve decided to include a list of some of our favorite albums to trip to below. 

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles

Not only an amazing concept album, this LP is regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time. Released in 1967, the record is full of psy-pop melodies skillfully blended with traditional Indian instruments to make a sound that is still as futuristic sounding today as the day it was released. The complex compositions and technicolor-like tones provide the perfect backdrop for tripping, remember to say hello to Lucy for us.

The Wall – Pink Floyd

Considered an instant classic, this album explores themes of abandonment, despair, and war while producing a whirlwind of sounds that continues to inspire listeners today. Told from the perspective of Pink, a fictitious singer who isolates himself from the outside world after building a psychological wall, the album’s narrative somewhat mimics the real-life story of bassist Roger Waters. From start to finish, The Wall is a powerful addition to any psychedelic experience.

Kid A – Radiohead

Although many are reluctant to call Radiohead’s raucous departure from traditional instruments to be a true concept album, the record does tick a lot of similar boxes. The band’s use of repeated musical motifs, and lyrics that were seemingly arranged at random offers a kaleidoscopic mix of psychedelic sounds. Kid A is a concept album that creates an expansive and emotionally resonant trip experience, proving that there is no singular definition to the term. 

Johns Hopkins Research 

Psychologist Bill Richards crafted a playlist that was pivotal to Johns Hopkins’ psychedelic studies for over two decades. This musical guide, originating from his earlier work in 1967 at the Spring Grove Hospital Center, was developed to enhance and support participants’ experiences during medical trials. These studies explored the therapeutic potential of LSD, psilocybin, and other psychedelics in treating pain, depression, as well as their impact on the professional insights of mental health workers.

The playlist is segmented to align with the different phases of the psychedelic journey. From the initial moments of the session, to the substance’s peak, and down to the grounding “welcome back” phase. The tracks were chosen to foster a profound inner experience. Beginning with a somewhat melancholy mix of guitar concertos, and slowly tiptoeing into the final moments of the mix, where Richards reintroduces familiar language through the comforting strains of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.”

The methodical selection of tracks used in the study shows the importance of music in regards to the depth and quality of the psychedelic experience, with each piece serving as a companion through the various emotional landscapes encountered while tripping.

DoubleBlind Magazine does not encourage or condone any illegal activities, including but not limited to the use of illegal substances. We do not provide mental health, clinical, or medical services. We are not a substitute for medical, psychological, or psychiatric diagnosis, treatment, or advice. If you are in a crisis or if you or any other person may be in danger or experiencing a mental health emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency resources. If you are considering suicide, please call 988 to connect with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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