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Sensitive Content Notice ⚠️
The following article contains and discusses content that may be distressing to some readers.
Reason for Warning: As this article is about psychedelics, mentions of drugs and other illegal substances are apparent in the article. Reader discretion is advised.

Psychedelica refers to the psychedelic art, psychedelic music and the subculture that originated in the psychedelic experience of the 1960s, by people who used psychedelic drugs such as LSDmescaline (found in peyote) and psilocybin (found in magic mushrooms). Psychedelic art and music typically recreate or reflect the experience of altered consciousness. Psychedelic art uses highly distorted, surreal visuals, bright colors and full spectrums and animation (including cartoons) to evoke, convey, or enhance the psychedelic experience. Psychedelic music uses distorted electric guitar, Indian music elements such as the sitar, electronic effects, sound effects and reverberation, and elaborate studio effects, such as playing tapes backwards or panning the music from one side to another.


Advances in printing and photographic technology in the 1960s saw the traditional lithography printing techniques rapidly superseded by the offset printing system. This and other technical and industrial innovations gave young artists access to exciting new graphic techniques and media, including photographic and mixed media collage, metallic foils, and vivid new fluorescent "DayGlo" inks. This enabled them to explore innovative new illustrative styles including highly distorted visuals, cartoons, and lurid colors and full spectrums to evoke a sense of altered consciousness; many works also featured idiosyncratic and complex new fonts and lettering styles (most notably in the work of San Francisco-based poster artist Rick Griffin). Many artists in the late 1960s and early 1970s attempted to illustrate the psychedelic experience in paintings, drawings, illustrations, and other forms of graphic design. In the modern era, computer graphics may be used to produce psychedelic effects for artwork.


For more information, see: Psychedelic music (Wikipedia)

Psychedelic Rock[]

Psychedelic Rock is a rock music genre that is inspired, influenced, or representative of psychedelic culture, which is centered on perception-altering hallucinogenic drugs. The music incorporated new electronic sound effects and recording techniques, extended instrumental solos, and improvisation. Many psychedelic groups differ in style, and the label is often used spuriously. Psychedelic rock began to come into the popular consciousness in 1965-1967 with impactive albums such as Pet Sounds (1966) by the Beach Boys or The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators (1966). Psychedelic rock and the hippie movement as a whole reached new heights with the release of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967). The album was released at the beginning of the Summer of Love, a social phenomenon that occurred during the summer of 1967, when as many as 100,000 people, mostly young people sporting hippie fashions of dress and behavior, converged in San Francisco's neighborhood of Haight-Ashbury. Psychedelic rock continued to experience popularity until its decline began from 1969-1971. The Woodstock Festival of 1969 was considered the cultural peak of the hippie movement and Psychedelica as a whole, featuring many signature psychedelic acts such as the Jimi Hendrix Experience or Jefferson Airplane.

Notable artists include:

Acid Rock[]

Emerging from the mid-1960s garage punk movement, Acid rock stands as a genre of rock music with fluid boundaries. This musical form played a pivotal role in propelling the psychedelic subculture into existence. Taking its name from lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), this style is characterized by its utilization of intense, distorted guitars, lyrical themes revolving around drugs, and extended, impromptu musical sessions. It shares considerable common ground with 1960s garage punk, proto-metal, and the early blues-infused hard rock. While occasionally used interchangeably with "psychedelic rock," acid rock specifically denotes a subgenre closely related to, yet distinct from, the broader psychedelic rock style. In contrast to its psychedelic rock counterpart, acid rock adopts a harsher, more resonant, and weightier auditory profile. Its origins are primarily rooted in the American West Coast, where bands diverged from the whimsical and novelty-focused elements of British psychedelia. Instead, this subgenre accentuated the more potent aspects associated with both the positive and adverse dimensions of the psychedelic encounter.


Neo-psychedelia is a diverse genre of psychedelic music that draws inspiration from the sounds of 1960s psychedelia, either updating or copying the approaches from that era. Originating in the 1970s, it has occasionally seen mainstream pop success but is typically explored within alternative rock scenes. It initially developed as an outgrowth of the British post-punk scene, where it was also known as acid punk. After post-punk, neo-psychedelia flourished into a more widespread and international movement of artists who applied the spirit of psychedelic rock to new sounds and techniques.

Playlists and Albums[]