Attempting to keep up with new releases is exhausting. And the never-ending quest to discover an act before they hit >1000 plays on Bandcamp is all but rewarding. Having given up full-time music writing a little while ago, more often than not, I find myself feeling a mix of FOMO and IDGAF about new local music while compiling my Spotify playlists. With this feature, we (that, is I) aim to put together a weekly mixtape—without being judgemental assholes.
For this week’s super special mix, I’ve got a bunch of people who I reckoned would have some excellent 4/20 recommendations—tunes to get by, songs that calm your nerves and music that elevates that tok-e-xperience. In celebration of 4/20, you can be assured of VICE’s pretty damn excellent coverage, tips, tricks and more—and now, even music to roll in the good times.
“As Worldly Pleasures Wave Goodbye…” by Two Lone Swordsmen
“Dark intro, builds to rich pads and glitchy and noisy percussions. Almost like extraterrestrial beings are trying to communicate. Issa journey from the alien darkness to hopeful light at the end of a tunnel. Utopian? Halfway through the song, you might forget to light your joint again if you listen with attention, lol.”
—Sanket Saraiya, music producer-in-the-making dreamin’ about that 420 life
“Pass The Dutchie (Original 7” Version)” by Musical Youth
“I dig this song because of its entirely satirical nature. Pretty amazing to see how they talk about their hardships and how dutchie helps while talking about passing it to the left-hand side. Totally works up my 4/20 jam.”
—Ishan Rathod, Experiential and graphic designer, and my numero 420 friend
“New Slang” by The Shins
“You know that unexplainable feeling when you hear a song and suddenly have butterflies in your stomach? "New Slang" is the kind of song that does just that but also gives you a sense of unbridled joy while being slightly wistful, all at the same time. As a part of one of my all-time fav OSTs, Garden State, The Shins do a great job of making me smile sheepishly every time I hear their song! Tune in just before your eyes glaze and I promise, you're going to be beaming all day like you have the best secret ever."
—Akshita Buch, blazed and mostly well-behaved. Her words, not mine
“He's the best shark in the world, such finesse. He doesn't want to harm ya, he just wants your ganja. Everyone should aspire to be like reggae shark. He's the master of arts and crafts, REGGAE SHARK FOR PM 2019!”
—VICE Asia Design Team, umm… yeah
"Marijuana" by Chrome Sparks
“There was a point in my life where I’d listen to this song every single day on my way to work. A great morning often comprised of this song, a seat on the metro and my earphones. Though this song is sublime, under the influence or not, you gotta give a hat-tip to the apt title.”
—Nidhi Salian, Associate Producer and the friend I didn’t know I (always) needed
“Running” by Helado Negro
“This was a tough one to pick because, let’s be honest: Almost every single song I’ve heard on that 420 sphere has sounded infinitely better and revealed itself more each time. I came across Helado Negro’s music fairly recently, and no regrets, of course, because from all the reading, referencing and opining, This Is How You Smile seems to be his best work yet, really helping him come into his own, sonically and in terms of identity. While I appreciate the experiments modern, pop and new music tend to throw up, a simple, perhaps partially cheesy, song does the trick ever so often. The ebb and flow, albeit minimal, that Roberto Carlos Lange achieves on this song (and album RLY) is top-notch. The sense of restraint, the carefully crafted trinkets and near-perfect hooks across the record are impressive, and while "Running" might not often be the natural pick, I've found myself immediately gravitating towards it, on several occasions. After a run, or maybe at the break of dawn, often in the dead of the night, and sometimes at work, I’ve found myself playing this at all times—blazed or not. "Running", as the title suggests, offers up a rhythmic expression for how the song navigates emotions, heartbeats and more importantly, the floating thoughts in my head, as I find myself sinking in deeper into Lange’s calming voice, enveloped in warmth.”
—Naman Saraiya, Producer in search for that mythical perfect playlist
While you’re at it, check out this dope bhang recipe.