So many of us during this period of unprecedented weirdness, cannabis has proven to be a balm and a source of stability to counter our (even more) chaotic world. “The High Song,” a sweet and understated pop gem by the Los Angeles songwriter Rachel Goodrich, nails that sentiment perfectly; it’s nothing short of an unofficial stoner’s anthem for the pandemic.
In both the song and its endearing video (released on 4/20, naturally), Goodrich reminds us that while our daily lives and habits have been shattered, we’ve got to find something that keeps us happy.
Goodrich embodies the positivity and creative spirit that cannabis can inspire: in addition to her songwriting career, she is both a hard-working budtender and a visual artist with a kooky take on buds.
We caught up with her on a balmy afternoon in Los Angeles, as she rolled up a joint of Lamb’s Bread, to hear more about “The High Song”’s weird origins, the eclectic music that’s getting her through these rough times, letting her inner stoner shine in her songs and more.
What strains and products are getting you through the pandemic?
For a while I wasn’t smoking. I freakin’ love the Kiva gummies, the Caminos. They’re so fun and light-hearted. The pineapple habanero [5mg THC] are so good. Also, there’s a company called The Cookie Factory; when the pandemic broke out, I was gifted this huge cookie, it’s 350 mg. It took me awhile to eat it (laughs). Then someone else gifted me a Cookie Factory blackout brownie, that’s 1000 mg.
Have you noticed a change in what customers are purchasing?
They’re buying a lot more (laughs). You’d think that people would be leaning towards topicals, edibles, sublinguals. I had a guy come in with a pouch full of money who said ‘give me all your pre-rolls.’ He bought thousands of dollars of pre-rolls, until he reached the max [28.5 grams in California]. I think he was probably stocking up, this was early on. Afterwards, he said, ‘thank you for your business.’
So, why did you become a budtender?
It was a listing on Craigslist [in February]. They called me back hours later. Nowhere in the listing did it list which dispensary it was…when I found out [it was a nice surprise]. I love that spot. It was so random how it all fell into place.
What’s surprised you about the job?
I was nervous about what kind of environment I was stepping into. It can always go different directions [with a new job]. But these people care so much about health. It’s inspired me to pick up yoga again, and eat well. It feels like I’m surrounded by good influences.
That’s awesome! How do you juggle songwriting with budtending?
The morning is a big time for me [to work on music]. I do a lot of stuff in the morning. If I’ve got a shift in in the afternoon, I’ll stay up longer and pick up my guitar.
I do stuff during breaks at my job. The video [for “The High Song”] I made at work.
The song has been stuck in my head for a week.
Awesome! That makes me smile really big.
Is there anything, in particular, you hope listeners take away from it?
For sure. There’s no such thing as flawless. It’s kind of a self-deprecating song, you know? I don’t know if a lot of other people catch on to that. It’s about whatever gets you high. That could be anything.
I was going through a moment. It was me finding myself and finding comfort in something that turned out to be some kind of song. The chorus came to me in the middle of a dream. I fell asleep with the lights on. I woke up and was humming something. I recorded it and went back to sleep.
It took about a year to mix it and get it to a good place. It’s been a big part of my life for the past few years.
I didn’t realize you wrote the song pre-quarantine!
It was previously released in 2018. And I re-released it on 4/20 [with the video]. I’m also getting ready to release a new record.
Are you taking a new approach with your new music?
I wanted to play around with sounds a little more. It’s a digital analog hybrid: I’m making beats, and then playing drums over the beats. I’ll play a fake piano, then play a real piano over it.
I wanted to have more fun with this record. The last one was a little throwback-y, a little retro, a little beach-y. I wanted to revisit a fun, energetic [sound] and the truest form of myself. No filter.
Say more about what that means, the truest form of yourself?
I’m a stoner! None of my music, maybe a couple of songs [reflect that]. I’m incorporating it into the music. A lot of it wasn’t sitting down and writing out a poetic piece; just saying shit on my mind and puzzling it together.
Does weed help your songwriting?
For sure. Hell yeah. I tend to stick to the sativas. I like indica too, but it makes me a lazy, lazy person.
I can appreciate that. Before we wrap up, any music recommendations for listeners to check out?
Little Beaver. Magic Sam. I’m listening to some Link Ray. I’m always listening to the Grateful Dead. [Jazz pianist] Theolonius Monk’s Solo Monk record. Duke Ellington’s Money Jungle record. It’s one of my favorite records. And always Erykah Badu.