Dreamy psychedelic rock, 1966 to present
March 20, 2019 7:01 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a specific kind of psychedelic rock song, or its children or grandchildren from subsequent generations.

I don't know if I'll explain this very well, but the kind of psychedelic song I want is dreamy, maybe minor key, and doesn't get into a driving beat.
No militaristic-stylized drumming
No stanza that intensifies into screaming
Also: No Beatles
Yes: Mr. Fantasy by Traffic
No: White Rabbit
I'm also interested to hear songs from decades after the 60 or 70s. In this case it's yes to a kind of dreamy psychedelic-ish shoe gaze and no to hard punk sounds.
posted by nantucket to Media & Arts (53 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
From '82, Nick Nicely's Hilly Fields might be a bit noisy but it is dreamy psychedelia with a neat turntablist twist.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 7:13 AM on March 20, 2019

Spill The Wine?
posted by mono blanco at 7:17 AM on March 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

Smooth dreamy psychedelic synth rock that draws heavily from older material: Black Moth Super Rainbow, Dreamsicle Bomb, 2012.
posted by SaltySalticid at 7:20 AM on March 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Life in a Northern Town or most other stuff by Dream Academy.
posted by donnagirl at 7:22 AM on March 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

for 21st century stuff try Conspiracy of Owls

but I mean there's so much that fits this description ... Pink Floyd?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:22 AM on March 20, 2019

What's your idea of psychedelic? Does God Only Knows fit the bill? Perfect Day?
posted by wellred at 7:23 AM on March 20, 2019

For more modern, maybe Portishead? Mysteron
posted by Mchelly at 7:26 AM on March 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thanks so much so far! Just to narrow it:
Pink Floyd isn't quite it -- too heavy handed for this. (Will say I saw them 4 times in concert back in the day, not that I didn't like PF, just not what I'm trying inarticulately to describe for this question.) Neither are the Beach Boys quite right here.
I haven't listened yet to most of this yet, though i'm excited to do so, but the one linked above by Saltysaltsid is PERFECT for this question.
posted by nantucket at 7:34 AM on March 20, 2019

There's a whole genre called space rock that might fit the bill.

How about some Gong? Warning, none more psychedelic.

Maybe Hawkwind?

For a much more gentle psychedelic sound you might try Mojave 3.
posted by djinn dandy at 7:39 AM on March 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

Love - Forever Changes is a classic.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:42 AM on March 20, 2019 [5 favorites]

The Brothers Johnson - Strawberry Letter 23
Related, the entire Shuggie Otis album Inspiration Information
posted by aspersioncast at 7:44 AM on March 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

Oh, man. <3 Shuggie. The title track Inspiration Information is certainly dreamy.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:47 AM on March 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:52 AM on March 20, 2019 [3 favorites]

And maybe Stereolab
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 7:53 AM on March 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

How about Wooden Ships by Crosby, Stills and Nash?
posted by Clustercuss at 8:13 AM on March 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Feel Flows by the Beach Boys?
XTC's "Summer's Cauldron/Grass"?
posted by kimota at 8:14 AM on March 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

And of course, Eno's Another Green World. A few tracks veer towards an edgy sound but it's pretty damned dreamy throughout. Especially "Golden Hours".
posted by Burhanistan at 8:21 AM on March 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

You might like The Essex Green, or maybe Wooden Shjips
posted by pipeski at 8:29 AM on March 20, 2019

the ladybug transistor nailed this stuff in the 90s, six times for example
posted by noloveforned at 8:31 AM on March 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

I think you'd love Espers
posted by Dressed to Kill at 8:33 AM on March 20, 2019

Old Brown Dog by John Koerner & Willy Murphy
Alone Again - Love

Psychedelic Sewing Room by Bongwater
Everybody's Talking by Bongwater
Free Love Messes Up My Life by Bongwater
posted by brookeb at 8:39 AM on March 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

H.P. Lovecraft - The White Ship (although the drum might be a bit military, it's not driving).
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:51 AM on March 20, 2019

Vinyl Williams is the answer to your prayers. Here are three tracks from his new album, but he has many other gorgeous masterpieces to explore.

Sanctuary Spells
Florian Veridiction
posted by mykescipark at 8:55 AM on March 20, 2019

Aegian Sea - Aphrodite's Child
Planet Caravan - Black Sabbath
Where There's Woman - Captain Beefheart
Me About You - Gandalf
I Talk to the Wind - King Crimson
Candle of Life - Moody Blues

For modern stuff I wonder if No More Runnin by Animal Collective wouldn't scratch that itch...
posted by saladin at 8:55 AM on March 20, 2019


posted by greta simone at 9:12 AM on March 20, 2019

"Space to Bakersfield," by Black Mountain might be too far along the Pink Floyd spectrum, but you might give it a shot.

Also: Robert Wyatt?
posted by baseballpajamas at 9:13 AM on March 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Nick Drake, Hazey Jane II or Pink Moon
Robyn Hitchcock, I Often Dream of Trains
Donovan, Epistle to Dippy (too strong a beat? if so, maybe Oh Gosh)
posted by miles per flower at 9:53 AM on March 20, 2019

What about Sweetwater - In a Rainbow?

(Also totally agree with Ladybug Transistor and The Essex Green recs above!)
posted by somanyamys at 9:55 AM on March 20, 2019

Some contemporary artists:
Cate Le Bon is a master of the dreamy off-kilter
Brian Jonestown Massacre has worked in this mode for decades
The label Trouble in Mind specializes in this. I particularly like the records they put out by Liminanas and Pridjevi.
He's 99% instrumental, but the artist Steven R. Smith works in this mode under a number of identities, with the long suites of Ulaan Passerine being particularly transporting.
posted by bendybendy at 10:04 AM on March 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Loudhailer Electric Company from Hull.

They also do some amazing harpsichord - from The Auricula Suite - they are involved in horticultural 'auricula theatres' Primula preservation.
posted by unearthed at 10:12 AM on March 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Moody Blues, Tuesday Afternoon
Jefferson Airplane, Today, She Drives Funny Cars, Bear Melt
Joni Mitchell, Woodstock, Ladies of the Canyon
Steve Winwood, Low Spark of High Heeled Boys, Rainmaker
Greatful Dead, Ripple, China Cat Sunflower
The Doors, The Crystal Ship, LA Woman
The Mamas and the Papas, California Dreamin'
It's A Beautiful Day, White Bird
The Byrds, The Bells of Rymny, Eight Miles High
Quicksilver Messenger Service, Fresh Air, Who Do You Love, Mona
Jethro Tull, Velvet Green
Buffalo Springfield, Bluebird, On the Way Home
posted by Oyéah at 10:26 AM on March 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

With the caveat that some of the tracks on these albums may have more of an edge than you're looking for:

Temples - Sun Structures (Move With the Seasons, Fragment's Light)

Sparklehorse - It's a Wonderful Life (Sea of Teeth)

Beck's Morning Phase (the whole album is pretty mellow.) Also, Sea Change, although that one is a bit of a downer. (Written after a significant break-up, and the sadness really comes through)

Masters of Reality: Jody Sings
posted by Funeral march of an old jawbone at 10:38 AM on March 20, 2019

Tame Impala: Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control

My Bloody Valentine is quintessential shoegaze, but might not fit the bill otherwise.
posted by O9scar at 10:55 AM on March 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

The band Spirit was like this, I always liked the song "Natures Way." Someone suggested Moody Blues, and they are what you are looking for.
posted by chocolatetiara at 10:58 AM on March 20, 2019

Pink Floyd: The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
posted by Thorzdad at 11:13 AM on March 20, 2019

I wouldn't call "Mr. Fantasy" Psych Rock so much as Psych Blues, but this also gets you away from your Beatles boundary for the most part. Not sure I'll be able to avoid it, but...

Belles Will Ring - The Green (and their repertoire in general)
Cosmic Jokers have at least a couple songs
Dantalion's Chariot - Sun Came Bursting Through My Cloud
Emmit Rhodes - Saturday Night maybe
Moving Sidewalks - No Good to Cry
Rolling Stones - Citadel
The Tremeloes - Hard Time
posted by rhizome at 11:39 AM on March 20, 2019

Heartily recommend the Boo Radleys - Everything's Alright Forever
posted by Otis at 11:40 AM on March 20, 2019

Dreamy – definitely
Psychedelic rock – not so sure
Anyway, I'd recommend The Cocteau Twins: Treasure
posted by MinPin at 12:12 PM on March 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Curtis Roush - Space is Empty (Come with Me)

And probably most of the songs on his Cosmic Campfire Music album.
posted by slagheap at 12:34 PM on March 20, 2019

posted by cotton dress sock at 12:41 PM on March 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

How about some Brian Jonestown Massacre?—e.g. Pish.

Other possibilities:
Dead Meadow: Stacy’s Song.
Chicos de Nazca, Floating with Boards.
Elephant Stone, A Silent Moment.
Rivulets, Ride on, Molina.
On the gazier side:
The Stargazer Lilies, Del Ray Mar.
The Kundalini Genie, Asteroid Blues.
posted by Sonny Jim at 2:34 PM on March 20, 2019

How about some Kenny Rogers with Coen Brothers visuals
posted by effluvia at 3:22 PM on March 20, 2019

I think you might enjoy some late 70s solo work of Steve Hillage, especially the album 'Green'. Cosmic space jammin' with understated vocals.


The Strawbs; Autumn, Tears
Uriah Heep; Tales
Moody Blues; Have You Heard?

Various old psychedelic-ish English folk:
Incredible String Band
Fairport Convention
Tyrannosaurus Rex

American artists with similar-ish styles:
Sandy Bull
Tim Buckley
posted by ovvl at 4:04 PM on March 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Boards of Canada, for mellow trippy instrumental jams.
posted by ovvl at 4:06 PM on March 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thanks everyone, this is so great. I've got my playlist. Each answer here has at least one track I'll use so I've just marked everyone best.
And yes, I was also thinking of Brian Jonestown Massacre when I wrote the question, but there was a lot here I didn't know before.
Much appreciate this ...!
posted by nantucket at 4:41 PM on March 20, 2019

Rolling Stones-----Time Waits For No One
posted by jtexman1 at 10:08 AM on March 21, 2019

Turning tide by super furry animals!

That whole album (guerrilla) is so trippy!
posted by St. Peepsburg at 12:54 PM on March 21, 2019

Amazed that nobody has mentioned Flaming Lips, Kurt Vile, Pavement / Steve Malkmus yet. And Mazzy Star...
posted by sesquipedalia at 5:55 PM on March 21, 2019

Share that playlist!!
posted by saladin at 9:26 AM on April 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

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