21st Century Psychedelia – The Acid Trip Lives On

Words by Zurraq Khan.

Whether it be a niche, or at large, the psychedelic music scene is something that is still in huge demand. Wind the clocks back to the 60’s and 70’s, to the days of Hawkwind, Jimi Hendrix and The 13th Floor Elevators. The days of dropping the hardest substances to get the most mind-controlling, trippy brain rush accompanied by the wavy soundtrack of the psychedelic era, combining music with wacky art and paranoia to create a lucid outlook on life for a day. Great, right? Maybe not, considering the majority of people swear against it, but the niche group of people that love it, live by it. Here’s some artists that’ll mix up your neo-psych playlist, instead of reverting back to the same songs by The Doors and Pink Floyd.

Tame Impala – Kicking off in 2008 with their debut EP ‘Tame Impala H.I.T.S 003’, this Australian psychedelic rock band made a steady entrance to the scene. Fast forward to 2012, the release of the full-blown, no holds barred album ‘Lonerism’ is where Tame Impala really took the spotlight. Hits like ‘Elephant’ and ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’ tapped into the minds of psychedelic rock fanatics and rocketed the popularity of this group, and their latest 2015 release – ‘Currents’ is an absolute gem in all sense of the word. This band was the word on everyone’s lips as they hit the spotlight, and boy did they deliver. ‘The Less I Know the Better’ has become one of the most popular soundtracks of the present day and they produce great music beyond the marquee tracks of the album. Other songs like ‘The Moment’ and even shorter songs like ‘Disciples’ create that intense trippy mood that many look for, they’ve definitely pleased the public with their recent batch of music.


Temples – Formed in 2012, this relatively new band have burst onto the psychedelic scene with some vintage style tunes that are guaranteed to give you the throwback of a lifetime. With one album so far – ‘Sun Structures’, the psychedelic rock band have hit the ground running with a storm of an introduction. Check them out, it’ll be worth your while, I guarantee it.


The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Starting out in the early 90’s, TBJM have been making music for over 20 years, giving them a somewhat early veteran status in the neo-psych scene. Combining electronica, psychedelia and a ton of drugs, this band have pumped out 16 albums, all of which deliver to the high expectations they have. Their latest release ‘Third World Pyramid’ this year, shows that this band is still at large and they’re not taking it lightly.


Neon Indian – This man is a genius. Am I biased towards him? Of course, he’s one of my favourite artists, he combines synth with hints of psychedelia to create a brand of music which has been missing for years on end. People like me have been waiting in agony for someone to come through with this sound, the sound that has made its way into the public eye for good reason. All three of his albums stick to the same sound, making him the face of this particular genre at present. Debuting in 2010 with ‘Psychic Chasms’, the marquee single ‘Terminally Chill’ boosted him onto the public scene in an instant. ‘Era Extrana’ shortly after in 2011 propelled him to fame even more, with ‘Polish Girl’ getting onto the Grand Theft Auto V soundtrack, attracting publicity like a tractor beam. Finally, his latest release ‘Vega International Night School’ is simply brilliant. In my opinion, it’s some of the best music to accompany a lucid acid rush. Neon Indian is the man to go to.


The scene lives on. It’s hard to see if it’ll die out to be honest. The overall psychedelic music scene combined with the art movement over the years has formed one of the most notable lifestyles for a music fanatic you can find. I sure as hell hope it doesn’t end, but once you’re in, there’s no guarantee you’ll want to get out.

Written by Zurraq Khan, you can follow Zurraq on twitter here

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