This month we are doing something a little different with our Weedsday playlist. We have given you countless playlists to toke up to from people around music and cannabis. Now we are branching out to a new playlist from DoubleBlind founders Shelby Hartman and Madison Margolin with tracks for your next trip.
Shelby Hartman and Madison Margolin co-founded the new biannual print magazine for psychedelics DoubleBlind. It will cover topics about psychedelics around the world, while also giving context to some of what ails modern society: the depression epidemic, the corporatization of medicine, and the aching people feel for spirituality or some other collective sense of meaning. It will expand in 2020 to events for the experienced and those curious about psychedelics.
“Everyone knows: psychedelics fueled the classic rock revolution in the 1960s. Upon their discovery of cannabis, The Beatles were already transitioning from a catchy boy band to a group that would inspire a generation of musicians, with their unexpected chords and melodies. But it wasn’t until the group’s discovery of LSD that they were catapulted on a spiritual journey, which led them to popularize the sitar, mantra, and other sounds never before integrated into popular music,” explain Margolin and Hartman.
“LSD, discovered by accident three decades prior, not only went onto shape the sounds of Pink Floyd, The Grateful Dead, and countless other legends from the era, but changed the way people listened to music, too. Today, in the psychedelic research trials being conducted at New York University, Johns Hopkins, and other prominent institutions, music is understood as an integral part of the healing process. The researchers actually create a playlist ahead of time, intended to help guide subjects from the onset of the drug into the peak of their trip and back to this dimension. The music a person listens to while tripping can profoundly shape their experience.”
Listen to their playlist below.
“Tomorrow Never Knows” by The Beatles
John Lennon didn’t mean to trip the first time he did—he was dosed at a dinner party by his host who put LSD sugar cubes in his coffee. Lennon was outraged, but the experience changed his life. He made sense of it with the help of The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead, a book by the iconic psychedelic researchers Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner and Richard Alpert (later known as Ram Dass). Soon after, Lennon wrote “Tomorrow Never Knows,” a song which encourages people to “surrender to the void.” It’s a brilliant tune, but it’s also full of wise messaging. Experts agree: the best thing you can do once you’ve taken a psychedelic is simply surrender to wherever it takes you.
“Breathe (In the Air)” by Pink Floyd
“Dark Side of the Moon” is arguably the most iconic tripping album of all time. The album should really be experienced from beginning to end as it takes listeners on a journey from electric guitar shredding to ethereal, immersive soundscapes. “Breathe (In the Air)” is the perfect song for a dose of perspective while deep in a trip. It reminds listeners to be present; to go into their feelings and to experience life fully before it fades.
"Scarlet Begonias" by The Grateful Dead
Picking the best Dead song to trip to is a hard ask, but this list wouldn't be complete without at least one. And we know, we know, this will probably spark some debate among Deadheads about which is actually the best song for tripping, but hear us out. Like a trip itself, "Scarlet Begonias" carries you on a journey, beginning with a narrative and evolving into a psychedelic kaleidoscope of ideas (think: flowers, shapes, colors, and rhymes). "The wind in the willows played tea for two/The sky was yellow and the sun was blue/Strangers stopping strangers/Just to shake their hand/Everybody's playing/In the Heart of Gold Band." The song is open to interpretation—and even more so when your mind is wide open. Lyrics aside, it’s also got that funky jam vibe for when you’re looking to transition from deep contemplation into a lighter headspace.
“Pachamama” by Sage and Sun
For as long as humans have been creating music and consuming hallucinogens, they’ve been doing so simultaneously. In the Amazon, where indigenous communities have been drinking ayahuasca for millennia, they play traditional songs called Icaros, which are said to come from the plant spirits themselves. “Pachamama” is one of those. L.A. duo Sage and Sun does a stunning rendition of it.
“4’33”” by John Cage
Okay, this one’s kind of a joke. You might’ve noticed if you skip through all 4 minutes and 33 seconds of this song that nothing happens—and that’s exactly the point. This recommendation is just a clever way of saying silence can be incredibly valuable while tripping. If you’re doing a psychedelic for therapeutic purposes, a bit of silence can allow you to access messages you wouldn’t otherwise if you were distracted. Even if it’s just for a few minutes next time you trip, try sitting in lotus position with your eyes closed or laying down with an eye mask. Then, just observe. Observe your thoughts. Listen to the sounds of your breath and the sounds in your environment. It’s its own kind of soundscape.