Microdose, the new album by Radio Skies, another group springing from the fertile fields of the modern Ojai music scene, has a sleeve that smells exactly like maple syrup. Scent is a highly underrated aspect of your listening experience. (Compare Laura Nyro’s scented lyric sheet in the Eli and the Thirteenth Confession LP, Stiff Records’ The Akron Compilation that stank of burnt rubber.) Similarly, Radio Skies is an underrated band. Microdose goes a long way toward fixing that particular level of estimation, especially since these five songs are some of the most optimistic to come out of Ventura County in lo, these many moons now. The band — “psychedelic folktronica” being its specialty — delves into the deeper nethers of the human experience, most notably on the track “The Mirror,” which is about a father and son and how interconnected they are. Radio Skies gives the people portrayed in its songs breadth and leeway to be individual adult human beings. It’s empathic and expansive and demonstrates that the musicians know how to write a song about people as they are and how they will be, not as one-dimensional stereotypes made of glass. On Microdose, Radio Skies proves that not only does the band have something to say, but also that its members listen to the things that others have to say, which takes their songwriting to a particularly unique and sympathetic dimension.
Available at radioskies.bandcamp.com.