Science Sundays Volume 8: Nicotine

Nicotine. It’s that tiny chemical that millions crave, the stuff of multi-billion dollar industries fueled by cigarettes and nicorette packs. Many can’t get enough of the stuff, and from a chemical standpoint, it’s easy to see why. Acting mainly as a stimulant, nicotine has a boatload of effects on your nervous system, upping the release of quite a few chemicals in the body. By activating the mesolymbic pathway in the brain (what’s called the “reward system”), nicotine gives users a sense of euphoria and calmness. It also works to enhance alertness and sharpness, along with speeding up metabolism. Sounds great and everything, until you realize the strong addictive properties, difficulty with withdrawal, and potential cardiovascular problems that come with it.

Musical nicotine has all of the benefits of real nicotine without any of the bad stuff! Like people’s common reasons to smoke cigarettes, below are some songs that bring a sort of clear, calm euphoria with them, songs that you can sit outside and have a thought to, or songs you’re just notably addicted to, whether you like that you are or not. Put down your Marlboro’s, put on your headphones.

Crystal Castles – Affection

Crystal Castles are really one of those bands I hate to love. I’ve honestly yet to see them perform a show I enjoyed, which is rather disappointing. Regardless, their new album III is quite good.

Solid Groove – Throwing Stones

I guess it’s not much of a surprise that Solid Groove reminds me of nicotine, he’s one of those producers that’s the equivalent of the handsome dude in the corner smoking a cigarette that makes you wonder “how does he so effortlessly look so tres cool?”

Jon Convex – Fade

Really love this track, this one is the post-coital or post-meal cigarette track, nice little wind down to culminate your thoughts of the evening, whatever they may be.

DJ T – Leavin Me (David August Remix)

One of my favorite tracks of the year. It took one listen to be hooked, and it puts me in a solid mood whenever I hear it.

Jacques Greene – Another Girl

This is my personal nicotine track. I crave this shit, I’m 100% addicted to this song. If you smoke cigarettes and find a cigarette after frantically realizing you have none, that same feeling is the one I get whenever this song comes on.

Orbital – Belfast

Man if there’s any other song that’s better to stare out into the gloomy horizon on the steps to your house, I know not of it. Straight up.

ZZT – ZZafrika (Julio Bashmore Remix)

The original (although great) of Zzafrika is pretty busy & loud, consider the Julio Bashmore remix the much needed cigarette break from a hectic day.

Holy Other – Love Some1

Can’t get enough of Holy Other. Fantastic album, leaves you with a clear headspace and waves of euphoria.