7 Of The Best Bands For Backpacking

Alex Hatton Backpacker

Hitting the road is always an adventure and all good adventures require a soundtrack. Whether you are scaling mountains, hacking through jungle, drunkenly hanging on to the back of a Tuk Tuk or diving off cliffs into shark infested waters, it’s important to have the right music. Here are 7 artists from various parts of our awesome planet whom I guarantee will make your travelling experience infinitely better.


MGMT are an American duo who play chilled out psychedelic rock music with a nice twinge of synth splashed in. They’ve released a ton of fun, trippy music videos where they dance around in classic backpacker locations; think mountains, forests and beaches and you’re pretty much spot on.

Why they are great for travelling: Their music is bursting with good vibes, perfect for chilling out at the end of the night when everyone is recounting the days madness.

2 songs you must listen to: “Time to Pretend” and “Kids”


Bart and Baker are two Parisian DJs dressed in classy tuxedos and top hats who mix old records with new to create electro swing. Some of their tracks contain songs from as far back as the 1920s that have been remixed to have a dance/house meets swing sound which you can’t help but feel classy when listening to.

Why they are great for travelling: If you play a lil Bart and Baker whilst putting the miles behind you on a long scenic bus ride, you really will start to feel like you have your own personal on the road themetune.

2 songs you must listen to: “Starlight” and “Ballroom Breakers”


Hallucinogen showcases the work of English electronic musician Simon Posford who specialises in psychedelic trance music. Hallucinogen’s first album, ‘Twisted’, is considered one of the most influential in its genre. If you’re interested in psychedelic inspired electro than look no further, Simon Posford was there when it all began. Also check out his other two projects “Shpongle” and “Younger Brother”, both unique, awesome and sure to project you to a higher spiritual plane, dude..

Why they are great for travelling: If during your travels you do plan on attending any raves of the mind expanding nature, this is the kind of music that will hopefully be playing there. Its perfect for such events – you’ll know why when you get there.

2 songs you must listen to: “LSD” (still seen as the defining sound for goa trance) and “Gamma Goblins Part 2”.


Talking Heads are an American rock band with a new wave style combining elements such as punk, world music and funk. Talking Heads are fun and easy to listen to. The superb lyrics sung by David Byrne are extremely catchy and you will struggle not to sing along.

Why they are great for travelling: No matter how exhausted from the previous days adventures you might be feeling, talking heads will fill you with energy and wake you up. Perfect for getting ready for the day or a night out.

2 Songs you must listen to: “Burning Down The House” and “This Must Be The Place”


Despite the somewhat violent sounding name, The Birthday Massacre actually play some of the most eerily beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. They are a Canadian synth rock band with elements of goth and new wave and are well known for their unique ambient sound and soft female vocals.

Why they are great for travelling: This band is undeniably meant to be listened to at night. Find somewhere quiet with a great view of the night sky and lie back with a few close friends to take it all in.

2 songs you must listen to: “The Night Loop” and “Kill The Lights”


A musical group that fuses modern electronic dance rhythm with traditional Irish Celtic and West African music to create a unique world sound. Featuring a wide range of guest artists, their music is inspiring to listen to and always makes me want to grab my pack, head out and explore.

Why they are great for travelling: This music seems to have been intentionally written as a soundtrack for exploring echoing caves, trekking through blood red deserts and scaling frozen peaks.  Check them out and you’ll see what I mean.

2 songs you must listen to:  “Mojave” and “Dark Moon, High Tide”


Infected Mushroom are an Israeli duo best described as “psytrance/electronica/psychedelic/indie”. Hands down, this is one of my favourite bands of all time, they have a seemingly endless supply of superb tracks, with a sound that changes and evolves over each album. At times their music is all trippy eeriness, at others it explodes into hardcore-dubstep-rave insanity.

Why they are great for travelling: The raw energy of their tracks makes them fantastic for partying/raves as well as walking when you need to get somewhere really (really) fast. If you do get into them (which you should!) you’ll find their seemingly limitless number of albums and EPs, gives you plenty of listening material, perfect for when you are on the move or gearing up for a rave.

2 songs you must listen to: “Rise Up” and “Bass Nipple”

And one more because, man, it’s infected mushroom: “Elation Station”

Alex Hatton Backpacker

Alex Hatton has recently returned from a stint around Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. His special backpacking skills include crashing mopeds, falling off cliffs and passing out at raves. When he’s not travelling, he spends his time writing a digitally illustrated sci-fi fantasy book about dragons and aliens, shouting in a dance punk band called ‘CrimeScene,Yeah!’ and talking to trees (man). If you wanna get in touch, you can reach him at [email protected]

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