Hey, hey, hey and welcome back to LeafBulb! This week, I am channeling my full millennial, electronic dance music (EDM) side. The side that will make your parents and grandparents say “back in MY day, people actually played instruments and didn’t just make noise on a computer.” Well to them I say “who needs instruments when you can make the VIBIEST of songs on a computer.”
EDM is a new-ish genre, created in the 1990s and full of beautiful computer-generated sounds, with a heavy emphasis on bass and drums. Vocals from all across the musical spectrum are often added and sometimes synthesized to match a beat that is completely unlike their original versions.
I want to introduce you to my Top 10 favorite artists in the broadly defined and highly fragmented EDM genre. These 10 artists are guaranteed to enhance your high and make you feel fantastic while smoking.
When I first heard Flume, I was a freshman in college and still very early in developing my bond with EDM music, but I knew that I needed this sound in my ears. Every single song from his Flume 2012 album is such a vibe and I highly encourage you to smoke and listen to the entire piece from front to back — You will not regret it. This Australian-born musician has since come out with notable hits including Never Be Like You and You & Me (remix), but I prefer his earliest work the best. If you are stoned and chilling and want to check out a song by him, I would start with Sleepless from Flume 2012 and go from there.
Another life-changing artist for me, Kaytranada, is the king of the late night grooves. I discovered him when me and my best friends from college were slated to go to Coachella 2015. We went through songs from every artist in the lineup to see who we should go see. We wanted to give everyone on the roster a chance and KAYTRA capitalized. We stumbled upon the Kaytranada Boiler Room Montreal DJ Set and ended up listening to his sets/songs at every late night party (~3 times/week) for the rest of college. Like clockwork, countless people would ask the same thing by the end of the night, “YO, who is this!?” His sound is unique. He refers to it as “Black Tropical House,” infuses hip-hop percussions and Haitian-inspired rhythms with pop-icon vocals, such as those of Janet Jackson. If you are back at your place for the smoking night cap, throw on a Kaytranada set and hear for yourself.
I must shout out my little brother for this one — So thanks bro! I got a text from him in 2013 that just stated “Kygo too nice.” Naturally I inquired, “what are you talking about?” and got this link to I See Fire (Kygo Remix). I’m always down to check out new music so I gave it a go and next thing I knew I was vibing for the next few hours. Since then, he has rose to super A-list stardom and headlined festivals across the world due to his mastering of the “Tropical House” sound. Smoking and listening to Kygo is bound to put you in a good mood. Kygo is always the soundtrack to my spring and summer, bringing nothing but good vibes. He has inspired countless other artists to follow in his footsteps and make similar songs. I would be shocked if you haven’t heard him, but be prepared to feel like you are on a beach with the sun out and the wind in your hair if you are tuning in for the first time.
First off, RIP to the GOAT of EDM. Since Levels dropped in 2011, this Swedish musician was on the top of the game. Multiple of his songs have over a billion views on YouTube and hit the Top 10 in international markets. The only reason he isn’t first on my list is because although I see him as the best EDM artist of all time, his sound is not as fined-tuned as Flume, KAYTRA, and Kygo for smoking. All I’m saying is that he puts all different types of genres into mix, and I tend to prefer those that build off of hip-hop as opposed to folk and country. This is a bit of a technicality, but nonetheless, he is solidly in the Top 5. He has a unique ability to combine melodies in a beautiful way that you can never go wrong with getting high and remembering the best to ever do it. Check out my personal favorite of his, Dear Boy, which has been an anthem since my college days.
5. Louis the Child
This is a rather new group that I have really only been privy too in the last couple years, but they have managed to break into my Top 5 and have a lot of potential to keep climbing if they keep putting out bangers. They have a very niche sound that accompanies being high in the most epic of ways. It is hype, but not in such a way that its too much — It still has those chill vibes that Odesza and Flume bring to their work, which is probably what draws me too it. It tip toes that line perfectly and is sure to massage your stoned ears. I would recommend Ditty Bop, one of their less mainstream songs as a great listen when high.
Other top 10
Shout out to this Top 10. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. As mentioned, this is a very fragmented industry and I am always looking for new artists to blaze up to, so suggestions are highly appreciated. Godspeed!