We all know how important the role of ‘aux-holder’ is when you get together with your friends to smoke. You need songs that are so great that, when no one wants to speak, you can just sit back, listen, and still have a really good time. Songs to lie back with on a sofa and close your eyes to impressive instrumentals and lyrics clever enough to provide you with something to mull over in your head.
Bonus points if the song sounds as spaced out as you feel.
If that’s your vibe, pop to your nearest dispensary — but not until October 17, of course — gather your friends, and stick the following on the speakers.
“Cheer up, My Brother” by HNNY, 2015
Honestly, just a really lovely song — sweet, soothing, simple vocals over a laidback beat and a gentle, sunny melody. Easy listening. Perfect to bop about to while you fry yourself up some perogies.
“Archangel” by Burial, 2007
When I first heard this song, I listened to nothing else for about two weeks. Dense, incredibly produced minimal garage/post-dubstep, and part of a milestone album that paved the way for future experimental electronic artists like Jamie XX and James Blake. It’s actually a very sad and lonely song — listen with caution or you’ll get a bit lost in your own head. Try to admire the pioneering percussion and unique sound instead of getting lost in a depressive spiral about your ex.
“Silver” by Caribou, 2014
If you feel like an album listening session — a great high activity — check out Caribou’s 2014 Our Love, featuring this track and other bangers you may remember from your youth, like the still-great “Can’t Do Without You.” “Silver” sounds like travelling through a space tunnel or something — the fading in and out of weird trippy synthy sounds, with high-pitched, half-whispering vocals over the top that create a mini spacey dream world in a song. A perfect choice.
“Alberto Balsalm” by Aphex Twin, 1995
It took me a while to get to a point where I could listen to Aphex Twin in a state of anything but complete confusion — so don’t fear if you feel the same. This song, however, can act as your gateway drug. But this time, instead of leading you on to heroin like your mom thinks weed will, it will lead you to one of electronic music’s most important, creative, and talented pioneers. Get lost in five minutes of music that you would never believe was made 20 years ago.
“Two Thousand and Seventeen” by Four Tet, 2017
So rich and sweet you won’t believe your ears. Four Tet blew up with his 2017 album New Energy last year and this is one of the best songs off it. Another album you won’t regret listening to from start to finish when you’re baked.
“North Circular” by Real Lies, 2015
A light garage beat that wouldn’t feel out of place in a club, with that Mike Skinner vibe of lonely, poetic lyrics, practically spoken instead of sung, laced through it. A really, really gorgeous song. Perfect for late nights in your lounge.
“Everything In Its Right Place” by Radiohead, 2000
Radiohead, as pretentious as the people who say things like this about them, is perfect for listening to while high. The interaction of the different layers of this song is unbelievable and makes it sound so trippy and just really impressive. Perfect ‘blow your mind’ music.
“Terrapin” by Bonobo, 2000
If at this point in the playlist, you’re in need of something a little sunnier, then no worries, I’ve got your back: some early Bonobo that I still prefer to pretty much everything he’s made since. Just really, really pleasing to listen to.
“Marilyn” by Mount Kimbie featuring Micachu, 2017
Once again, a little bit more upbeat and feel-good. Another perfect ‘bop around the kitchen while you cook up a storm’ song.
“Space Song” by Beach House, 2015
End on a high. Beach House’s famous tune just has everything — a lovely melody and vocals, a great hook, some weird synthy things, and lyrics simple enough that you can easily sing along to them no matter what state you’re in. Close your eyes, cuddle your mate, and enjoy.