The 2010s sparked a resurgence – nay, a revolution for psychedelic music. From Tame Impala to King Gizzard, we share the best psychedelic musicians, albums and songs of the decade.
Let’s relive the magic behind the most significant psychedelic music renaissance since Shoegaze.
PROLIFIC PSYCHEDELIC ROCK MUSICIANS OF THE 2010S
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard (2016). Credit: Paul Hudson/Wikimedia Commons
It wouldn't have been the 2010s without these prolific psychedelic rock bands and artistes.
With his psych music project, Tame Impala, Kevin Parker re-invented psychedelic music in the 2010s and became one of the most prolific neo-psych artistes of the modern era.
Tame Impala's debut album Innerspeaker (2010) brought psych-rock back into the mainstream zeitgeist in a way musicians hadn't achieved since the 1960s.
KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD
Since their 2010 formation, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have consistently been the premier modern psychedelic rock band.
Their back catalogue is expansive, and former member Eric Moore founded Flightless, an independent record label that supports multiple psych-rock acts, including Gizzard.
THEE OH SEES
Formed in 1997, Thee Oh Sees (or just Oh Sees) have explored multiple genres in their 25-year existence, with psych/garage rock being a consistent feature.
From Warm Slime (2010) to Face Stabber (2019) and every album release in between, Thee Oh Sees evolved psychedelic rock throughout the 2010s.
PSYCHEDELIC SONGS THAT EPITOMISE THE 2010S
Enjoy a "trip" you'll never forget with 20 of the best psychedelic rock songs from the 2010s.
‘ELEPHANT’ BY TAME IMPALA (2012)
Hailed as the "Hottest Record in the World" by notable DJ Zane Lowe, "Elephant" drew even more listeners to psych-rock throughout the 2010s.
‘FAKING JAZZ TOGETHER’ BY CONNAN MOCKASIN (2011)
"Faking Jazz Together" is a trippy track from Connan Mackasin's exquisite psychedelic album Forever Dolphin Love (2010).
The song lulls you in with a gentle nod to psychedelia and is accompanied by one of the best (and brilliantly understated) psychedelic music videos of the 2010s.
‘ORION’ BY KING BUFFALO (2016)
If you want an instant induction to the texturally rich "heavy psych" of psychedelic rock in the 2010s, check out King Buffalo's "Orion".
‘ENTRANCE SONG’ BY THE BLACK ANGELS (2010)
"Entrance Song" from psych rock heavyweights, The Black Angels, represented the best psychedelic rock in the 2010s. The track's dark, atmospheric and a little eerie.
‘SPACE TO BAKERSFIELD’ BY BLACK MOUNTAIN (2016)
Black Mountain infused "Space To Bakersfield" with the psych-stoner rock elements we've come to expect but with a new space rock seasoning. It's an epic Pink Floyd-Ziggy Stardust-inspired hybrid.
‘PUNK (LA VIE ANTERIEURE)’ BY DEERHUNTER (2013)
Deerhunter (2015). Credit: Ben Stas digboston/Wikimedia Commons
"Punk (La Vie Anterieure)" is the final track from Deerhunter's critically acclaimed 2013 album Monomania. Say yes to fuzz, distortion and a garage-psych infusion.
‘WHITE GLOVES’ BY KHRUANGBIN (2015)
Laid-back drumming and smooth bass lines galore, "White Gloves" is so groovy you'll be swaying from start to finish.
‘WITHERED HAND’ BY THEE OH SEES (2015)
"Withered Hand" is the second track on Mutilator Defeated At Last and encapsulates Thee Oh Sees' fast, heavy and ever-unnerving style.
‘MOLECULE’ BY WEEDPECKER (2018)
Weedpecker uplifts us with their psych-stoner rock record "Molecule". Expect trippy stoner riffs and instrumental jams that elevate your consciousness in just over seven minutes.
‘UP IN THE SKY’ BY SOMALI YACHT CLUB (2014)
Ukraine natives, Somali Yacht Club, were potentially the most underrated psychedelic rock band of the 2010s.
If you enjoy tuning out to melodies that take you on a journey of discovery, "Up In The Sky" will deliver.
‘FALSA FOLHA DE ROSTO’ BY BOOGARINS (2015)
"Falsa Folha De Rosto" is a relaxed and less experimental swirly soundscape from the Boogarins' 2015 album, Manual. It'll make you crave sun, sea and surf.
‘ROLLING ON’ BY THE MURLOCS (2016)
Harmonica-fuelled surf rock fused with Summer of Love vibes? Just sign us up for The Murlocs' chilled track "Rolling On" already.
‘FOUND GOD IN A TOMATO’ BY PSYCHEDELIC PORN CRUMPETS (2016)
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets continue to please with their upbeat psych-rock track "Found God In A Tomato". Fuzzy, feel-good vibes aplenty.
‘SAY HELLO’ BY FUZZ (2015)
Ceremonial drums that draw you in, guitar riffs that start like Robby Krieger and end like Tony Iommi, all accompanied by haunting vocals – "Say Hello" is a primal psychedelic-heavy metal experience that might cause a spiritual awakening.
‘MR BEAT’ BY KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD (2016)
Perhaps the catchiest track from Nonagon Infinity (an album full of ), "Mr Beat" stays true to King Gizzard's style while experimenting with new elements.
‘VENICE BITCH’ BY LANA DEL REY (2018)
Lana del Rey at Planeta Terra (2013). Credit: Beatriz Alvani/Wikimedia Commons
Lana Del Rey's "Venice Bitch” evokes the nostalgia of rainy days by the beach and simpler times. Enjoy a toned-down ode to Jefferson Airplane's "Eskimo Blue Day": electric guitar, a soulful songstress and psychedelia.
‘HOLDING OUT FOR YOU’ BY POND (2015)
"Holding Out For You" features on Pond's 2015 album, Man It Feels Like Space Again, and in keeping with the album's theme, it'll take you to another planet.
‘SONNTAG’ BY ELDER (2017)
Elder pushes beyond the bounds of predictable psychedelic doom rock with the strangely sombre "Sonntag". No vocals, a dreamy bass line and an ethereal riff: they paint otherworldly pictures without words.
‘SAN FRANCISCO’ BY FOXYGEN (2013)
Set your time machine to 1967 and experience the whimsical vibes of The Kink's "Waterloo Sunset" with a modern psych/surf twist.
"San Francisco" is brimming with 1960s and 70s goodness that’s sure to put a smile on your face.
‘SLEEP FOREVER’ BY PORTUGAL. THE MAN (2011)
"Sleep Forever" is the closing track from Portugal. The Man's 44-minute masterpiece, In The Mountain In The Cloud. And it's a beautiful culmination of every musical genre synonymous with the band (art, prog, glam and, of course, psychedelic rock).
THE BEST PSYCHEDELIC ROCK ALBUMS OF THE 2010S
To round it all off, how about reliving three of the best psych-rock albums of the 2010s? These notable ones are certainly something to remember the genre by.
‘LONERISM’, TAME IMPALA (2012)
Tame Impala's second studio album, Lonerism, continued exploring every facet of psychedelia while landing somewhere between psychedelic rock and pop.
A decade since its release, and not only does Lonerism epitomise the psych music of the 2010s, but it feels like a timeless psychedelic classic.
‘NONAGON INFINITY’, KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD (2016)
It was a tough call between I'm In Your Mind Fuzz (2014) and Nonagon Infinity (2016). The deal breaker? Nonagon Infinity is an immersive psychedelic rock experience that you can play infinitely from start to finish.
‘MUTILATOR DEFEATED AT LAST’, THEE OH SEES (2015)
With over ten studio albums released under the Thee Oh Sees banner throughout the 2010s, what sets Mutilator Defeated At Last apart? The album represents the band's natural evolution. It also tells a more cohesive story than their previous releases.
And with reduced fuzz that leaves space for additional musical elements to shine, the devil's in the details with this album.
Cover Credit: Tame Impala (2014). Credit: Abby Gillardi/Wikimedia Commons
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Writer | Rachael Hope
Rachael Hope is a writer and visual artist. She loves to explore the connections between creativity in all its forms and broader culture. When not being creative herself, you’ll find her practising yoga or exploring nature.