5 Trance-inducing Artists to Awaken the Creative Mind

By Bailey Diemer

Michael Nau –  Nau, a Maryland native, blends reflective indie rock with hints of folk and psychedelic influence. The subdued former front man of 2000’s indie stints Page France and, most recently, Cotton Jones went solo in 2016 and has released five albums since. His latest project, Less Ready to Go is an up-beat experiment of genres rooted by the reassurance of Nau’s tender vocals. Signed to London-based independent record label Full Time Hobby, Nau sprinkles elements of Americana and dream pop to form a feel-good symbiosis perfect for a transcendental road trip. Listen here

Recommended songs: “Looking for a Crack”, “Winter Beat” and “Scumways” 

Michael Nau will be in Portland on 2/16 at Roseland Theatre with indie-rock band Dr. Dog. Tickets here.  

Levitation Room – Formed in 2012 by two longtime friends, East-L.A. rock band Levitation Room bends dimension with rhythmic garage rock enhanced by substantial psychedelic influence. Initially formed around their love for 60’s garage rock with a psychedelic twist, Levitation Room’s debut album, Ethos, is a beautiful homage to the era. The band’s latest release, Headspace, stays true to the bands mind-altering roots while incorporating thought-provoking lyrics accompanied by a mellower arrangement and flavored with hints of Motown-style R&B and folk. Listen here

Recommended songs: “Loved”, “Ooh Child” & “Reasons Why”

Kikagaku Moyo – A quintet of psychedelic explorer’s hailing from Tokyo, Kikagaku Moyo blends heavy psychedelic melodies with elements of 70’s rock, folk and Indian raga to produce a cross-genre ear party. Kikagaku Moyo (which translates to “geometric patterns’) has released four studio albums since 2014. In 2015, members of the band started their own record label, Guruguru Brain, to showcase the unique music scene of East Asia. Listen here.

Recommended songs: “Nazo Nazo”, “Dripping Sun” & “Orange Peel”

Kikgaku Moyo is playing in Portland on 11/30 at Crystal Ballroom. Tickets here.

Babe Rainbow – The Australian 60’s-esque trio Babe Rainbow resembles a modern musical adaptation of Ken Kesey’s iconic Merry Band of Pranksters. From bohemian harmonies to classic guitar riffs, Babe Rainbow simply makes you wanna groove. The free-spirited Aussie’s latest album, Today, blends rich melody with Babe Rainbow’s signature psychedelic pop sound to create an ‘always sunny’ feeling even on the gloomiest winter day. Listen here.

Recommended songs: “Funky I like it”, “Love Forever” & “Something New” 

Babe Rainbow will be in Portland on 11/8 at Polaris Hall. Tickets here.

DrugDealer – East coast born and Los Angeles-based Michael Collins, the ringleader of Drugdealer, began making music after leaving art school to ride trains across the United States. Once returning east to Baltimore, Collins began to experiment with sounds of all kinds, resulting in solo ventures Run DMT and Salvia Plath. Collins re-branded himself as Drugdealer in 2016 for the release of End of Comedy, Drugdealer’s debut album. On his latest release, Raw Honey, Collins recruits guest vocalists to animate his whimsical and experimental soft rock with a psych aftertaste. 

My top Songs: “Honey”, “Fools” & “The Real World”