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Psychedelic pop is a musical style inspired by the harder, louder songs of psychedelic rock but applied more to a pop music setting.


Psychedelic Era

Psychedelic rock began as an underground music genre, but it eventually became popular enough to move into the mainstream, through Record labels cashing in on the counter culture and hippie, the Monterey Pop festival show cased many bands that were originating and playing this genre, the festival pushed many artist into the mainstream.

Although most psychedelic pop groups were otherwise conventional rock/pop bands (i.e. Strawberry Alarm Clock) that merely ornamented their songs with a host of stereotypical psychedelic dressings (sitars, tape loops, fuzz bass, backward tapes etc.), many bands and artists did incorporate the style in a more organic fashion, using the conventions to accomplish the "transcendental" ends to which psychedelia originally committed itself. These included such artists as 13th Floor Elevators, Donovan, and Love.

While the psychedelic era was introduced to popular culture in the 60s, the conventions as utilized in psychedelic pop remained in music into the 70s, and have become a permanent, although subtle part of the musical landscape. The influence can still be heard in many artists . In addition, there are many "new psychedelic bands" exploring the same landscape via various routes. Most of these groups skirt mass popularity, and are exemplified.

The fact seems to be that "psychedelic" is not really a distinct musical genre, as much as a set of musical/studio conventions which tend to push sonic and "transcendent" envelopes. As such, psychedlia can be seen as a permanent pathway for all genres which seek to stretch the boundaries of their own modes of expression, just as the blues was used by Jimi Hendrix to explore more "cosmic" avenues, and mainstream pop was pushed to its limits by The Beatles and The Beach Boys.


As artists like Prince and Lenny Kravitz were making modern psychedelic soul and bands like Echo & the Bunnymen and Spacemen 3 were making modern mixtures of post-punk and psychedelia, a revived psych pop music scene was revitalizing itself for an alternative rock era.

Bands like XTC released albums under the name The Dukes of Stratosphear under sixties-esque aliases such as Sir John Johns and The Red Curtain. XTC even released a straight-ahead psychedelic pop album under their own name, called Oranges and Lemons.

Dream pop is a psychedelic pop-influenced style characterized by its glacial settings and heavy use of mellotrons.

Elephant 6 Sound

The psychedelic pop album revival came fully with the Elephant 6 collective, a label that released neo-psychedelia albums based heavily on earlier psychedelic pop sounds. Bands like , The Apples in Stereo, Chocolate USA, Neutral Milk Hotel and The Olivia Tremor Control released albums to much critical praise. Although Elephant 6 ended fairly soon after it started, its influence was felt and modern psychedelic pop continued with a cult audience well into the 2000s.

Welsh Bands

Some Britpop groups from Walesmarker experimented fairly widely while still retaining a britpop sense which gave them a psych-pop edge. Some groups who followed this trend included Gorky's Zygotic Mynci and the Super Furry Animals.

Examples of Artists and Albums

Psychedelic Era

Revival Era

See also


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