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Spotify's New Hardcore Gardening Playlist and Brain Dead Collab Will Rattle Greenhouses Everywhere


All around the world, millions of Spotify fans love listening to hardcore punk music-and some science shows that plants love it too.

Hold up. What?

Yep, you read that right. Horticulturist, author and lecturer Chris Beardshaw says that research shows hardcore music helps plants grow. Stacked against other sonic selections like classical and pop, plants nurtured by hardcore are stimulated into amplified growth.

Surprisingly, a increasing body of research shows that the frequency of hardcore music helps plants grow, Chris told For the Record. The thumping, repetitive, high-decibel noise of hardcore stimulates and energizes plants cells, almost as if they're bouncing around in a tiny hardcore mosh pit.

But hardcore music isn't just helping plants grow faster. The hardcore music scene is growing in recent years, including on Spotify, with a 50% increase in the creation of hardcore music playlists by Gen Z listeners.*

Known for its intensity, attitude, angst, grit, and DIY ethos, hardcore music is a fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled subgenre of punk rock that's perfect for awakening your senses-and your plants. That's why Spotify is launching Hardcore Gardening, a playlist full of hardcore music classics and fresh favorites.

Along with our newest playlist, we're also teaming up with LA streetwear brand Brain Dead to launch Plant Growth Through Extreme Noise-a limited-edition apparel collection embodying the rebellious spirit of hardcore music.


Pulling from the untamed energy and anti-design' aesthetic of iconic punk music concert flyers, the collection of totes, aprons, gardening gloves, T-shirts, hats, and more, the first-of-its-kind collaboration has everything fans need to step up their gardening games in style. Shop the full collection starting at 10 a.m. PT on May 3 at and at all Brain Dead locations.

We wanted to know more about why plants and Gen Z fans alike respond so well to hardcore music, so For the Record spoke with Chris and Spotify Senior Editor of Rock and Alternative Laura Ohls to get the inside scoop.

What is the relationship between music and plants? Chris: Since way back in the '60s, there have been hints that plants respond positively to sound. People were just starting to write about the value of plants and talking to plants then, but nobody was taking it seriously at the time. I got interested in the relationship between music and plants really as a consequence of my lecturing at a horticultural college.

Sound is about vibration, and when it comes out of a speaker, that vibration can be transmitted through air and water. Plants are predominantly made of water, and modern science has revealed that plant metabolites are stimulated by vibration, which is good for plant growth.

One of the key metabolites, of course, that stimulates plant growth is chlorophyll, which is the substance that makes plants green and enables 'em to photosynthesize effectively and that sort of thing. We wanted to see if certain musical genres-which can have distinct frequencies-provoked some sort of reaction in the plant as sound vibrations were transmitted from the air into the plant.

What has this research revealed? Chris: We found that in silence, the plant grew exactly as we'd expected. We also found that with classical music, there was some modest growth. But we found that with rock music, which hardcore fits into, the genre triggered the most noticeable response in the plants, increasing the plants' biomass in a very straightforward way.

The research also shows that there's an increase in the amount of starch that the plants seem to be able to produce, which is key for a plant's ability to store energy, and an increase in hormones, which promote cell division and growth, when they're bombarded with these frequencies from hardcore-and starch is key to a plant's ability to store energy.

We thought there would be a difference between the music and the control, but we didn't expect to be a definite distinction between genres. But with hardcore music, because of the frequencies that it emits at, there were more leaves, bigger leaves, and greater distance between the leaf nodes, leading to greater flowering, greater fruiting, and better resistance to pests and disease. But it's important not to exceed 120 decibels, because above that, all of the positive effects of the vibrations start to diminish.

Laura: I think anyone hearing about this study would probably be a little surprised when they first hear that frequencies can amplify plant growth. And even then, I would have assumed that gentler sounds, like classical or lo-fi beats, would have been the genres that promoted plant growth the most. But, as a fan of punk and heavy metal, I am absolutely thrilled.

I have many plants around my own house that seem to be doing well, but I assumed it was my own green thumb that was benefiting them. After hearing about this research, I'm starting to think it might be my musical preferences that's helping them to thrive.

Chris: Curiously, the research shows that classical music is very good if you want to germinate seeds, but if you want bigger plants, if you want bigger leaves, better flowering, stronger stems, better resistance to pest and disease, then the research suggests that hardcore music hits the sweet spot when it comes to frequencies at the right decibel levels.

It's still new research and we're learning an awful lot, but it's certainly becoming more credible amongst the more enlightened in the science world.

Why is hardcore trending with Gen Z right now? Laura: I think Gen Z is finding solace in heavier music, post-pandemic. I think younger people were feeling frustrated because they were isolated at a very important time in their lives. And I think hardc
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