An Introduction to Psychedelia

by Ellie Riser

So you’ve been hearing the term “modern psych” or “psychedelic rock” being thrown around in your friend group or on your instagram feed and you couldn’t have less of an idea of what it means. Don’t worry, you know more about it than you think.

What’s is it?

It’s an artistic subculture, not literally shrooms or LSD, but the artists within the genre are often openly associated with drugs of the sort. By loose definition, Psychedelia or Psychedelic Rock as a musical genre was really created by sounds and lyrics evoked from artists on psychedelic drug trips, however more modern songs in this category are songs that use synths, chords, and vocals that are trips within themselves. Artists like Tame Impala and Mac Demarco are the more mainstream Psychedelic rock artists right now, but many others like BROCKHAMPTON, Tyler, the Creator, and even A$AP Rocky use the elements most commonly seen in this underground genre.

When did it start?

The fathers of this genre can be traced back to bands and artists such as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix. The genre was born with the rise of usage in psychedelic drugs during the early to mid 60s. People were instantly hooked, considering the harsh societal climate at the time, this rebirth of sound allowed many people to step into a world much more light, freeing, and colorful.

Why should I care?

Music is something that many people are scared to explore, we like to associate certain kinds of music with certain archetypes of humans, which means we are constantly holding back from exploring new music because we’re scared of what others will think. Music is something meant to allow people to feel things on deeper levels, and for some people Taylor Swift may do that, which is fine–to an extent. I’m kidding. It’s cool to listen to music, and if you don’t normally listen to music with “rock” attached to it, now is a great time to start. I find at one new artist a month, no matter the genre or sound I strive to know more and more music. And finally, listen to “New Person, Same Old Mistakes” by Tame Impala. You can thank me later.

Thank you for reading.