Toking Tunes

  • Haze.Boogie.Life: Queer artists craft sounds to escape to

    This week's playlist takes you on a trip through queer escapism, celebrating LGBTQ artists for Pride month.

    June 22, 2018

    California’s gay community may have spearheaded the state’s pioneering medical marijuana initiative in 1996. But today’s cannabis industry has been criticized for betraying its LGBTQ roots: “The homophobia in the weed community is severely real,” Arend Richard, who is known as the “The Gay Stoner” on YouTube, told Slate.

  • I Only Have Eyes for You: Hazy sounds to disappear into

    This week's selection of tunes is an unusual take on the typical 'stoner playlist.'

    June 15, 2018

    Since I started writing this column, I’ve been wondering whether I’d ever succumb to the idea of making a typical stoner playlist. If I were going to, it wouldn’t consist of jangly indie dirge like Mac Demarco — I’ve never really understood that kind of stuff. Instead, I wanted to compile some tracks that,

  • Vapor Trails: Mellow songs to soundtrack moments of solitude

    Tranquil sounds make up this week's playlist, traversing the work of ambient pioneers and recent innovators.

    June 1, 2018

    A state of bliss is something I find most often in solitude. Moments of peace and tranquillity can be hard to come by in a world seemingly defined by hectic situations and noise. Constant connectivity can feel inescapable.

    Any state of bliss is obviously special, but when it arrives in a drug-infused state,

  • In Dreams: Leathery techno and sexy R&B to soundtrack high sex

    Intoxicated sex isn't for everyone; some find it euphoric, while some find it uncomfortable.

    May 24, 2018

    Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about love and sex and the ensuing conflicting feelings. When it comes to intoxication, drugs can completely distort my feelings toward others.

    Making love while high often heightens my devotion towards someone. Even if I’m not in love with the other person,

  • Limerence: Songs that walk the edge between pleasant and uncomfortable

    For an inaugural playlist, our new contributor brings you a number of tunes perfectly suited to toking

    May 18, 2018

    I don’t recall the first time I got high – but I do have some (not so) fond memories of the first time I “whitied.” A combination of no food, excessive alcohol, and a fair amount of weed led to some pretty intense hallucinations, involving me falling into a black hole and eventually emerging,

  • Edges Fall Away: Listen to the experimental sounds of instrumental grime

    Glazed-over tracks with indisputable drive and energy from the genre are a perfect companion for your 4/20 celebrations.

    April 20, 2018

    Springing largely from the London-based record label Boxed, instrumental grime has taken up a niche position within the U.K. music scene. The genre delivers grime tunes driven not by vocals from MCs, but instead by internal sonic narratives. In recent years, the scene has quietly mutated into various strains, all subtly stranger and more outré than the original form.

  • From Centre to Wave: The strange and heavy sound of space rock

    We turn our attention to psychedelia's weirder offshoot, paying tribute to a genre that's gone hand-in-hand with cannabis culture since the Summer of Love.

    April 13, 2018

    Whether you call it psychedelia, psych rock, or even just ‘stoner music,’ a genre defined by lengthy tracks, flanged-out guitars, and groovy rhythm sections has gone hand-in-hand with cannabis culture since the first summer of love. This week, we’re turning our attention to space rock – psychedelia’s heavier, weirder offshoot.

  • Broke Open: Smoker-friendly emo from the early days of the genre and beyond

    Emotionally-charged tunes make up this week's playlist, from early emo artists to recent takes on the sound

    April 6, 2018

    The origins of “emo” as a genre name are nebulous at best. It emerged out of a particular strain of emotionally-charged ’80s hardcore, but it didn’t really gain a foothold in cultural vernacular until the mid-90s. Twiddly guitar lines and yelped vocals took center stage as bands like Sunny Day Real Estate,

  • Going Blank Again: The heady pleasure of shoegaze

    From My Bloody Valentine to Slowdive, we bring you a playlist full of sounds of shoegaze

    March 30, 2018

    Overanalyzing music isn’t always great, but when you’re stoned it can be unavoidable. Several times I’ve found myself deep in a stoned haze and been confronted by the heavy, whirring sounds of My Bloody Valentine. There’s something about it being simultaneously crushing and dream-like that mimics the way my brain swerves upwards and downwards when I’m under the influence.

  • I’m a Smoker: A deep dive into Chief Keef’s archives

    A journey through Chief Keef's wide-ranging discography reveals how he pushed his sound from muscular rap to more adventurous experiments.

    March 16, 2018

    There are two things you can say for certain about Chief Keef: He likes smoking weed and he releases a staggering amount of music. ‘I Don’t Like,’ which blew up in 2012, not only codified the nascent Chicago drill scene, but also allowed Keef to plough his own path onwards.