The Darker Side of Psychedelic Music

My interest in darker psychedelic music was reignited a few days ago when I heard The Doors’ “Riders on the Storm” on the radio. I think it’s such an incredible song. Now I’m desperate to find more bands similar to The Doors, but it’s proving to be much more challenging than I had anticipated. Of course there are plenty of well-known psychedelic rock bands from the ’60s and ’70s, but I’m not just looking for the average psychedelic band. I think I’ve always been more drawn to The Doors than any other psychedelic band of the “hippie days” because they had a more somber, gloomy, and mystical side. It’s been said that Jim Morrison had an obsession with the dark side, particularly death, and I think that came across in quite a few of their songs.

The first time I really got into The Doors I was about 17 years old, and then I came across Mazzy Star’s music, which was heavily influenced by The Doors. I began searching more for this darker style of psychedelic music and discovered a genre of music from the ’80s that was influenced by 60’s psychedelic bands called Paisley Underground. This led me to discovering musicians like Rain Parade, Opal, Kendra Smith, and The Dream Syndicate. While all those music discoveries were enough to keep me satisfied at the time, now I’m back to wanting more. I want something as dark and mystical as The Doors, and maybe the closest I have come to it is a band called Phantom’s Divine Comedy. The lead singer of this band sounds so similar to Jim Morrison that I now understand the conspiracy about Jim Morrison faking his own death.

Here are some of my favorite psychedelic songs that lean toward the gloomy, dark side. If you can think of anything similar to these bands (besides the obvious psychedelic bands like Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, The Byrds, etc.), please leave recommendations in the comments section below. If you don’t know of any, hope you enjoy these!

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4 thoughts on “The Darker Side of Psychedelic Music

    • Mazzy Star is a lovely band 🙂 I’ve been a fan of their music for 10 years, but I was kind of disappointed that their newest album was more folksy rather than psychedelic. Thank you for sharing the song 🙂

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