Contemporary psych rock has the ability to reach other-worldly canopies. Rock music has been warped for generations, and decades ago, the aforementioned subgenre appeared with a vengeance. Since then, every musical experiment on the genre has been conducted, and with constant technological improvements, the experiments continue. The Ojai-based group Radio Skies has done some exploration of their own culminating in their new album Double Life; what they discovered is not limited to their flourishing sound.
But flourish it does. When we tap into the first song, we begin to hear a few audible melodies, though they have existed for an eternity. “Live Forever” twinkles with a new-age wisdom that could have been coveted by Ponce de Léon; it lends themes of introspection to the rest of the album. It has an indescribable production quality that makes it an album I can’t get out of my head, not that I want to.
The most accomplished song on the record musically is naturally the one they named after themselves. “Radio Skies” boasts solos and call-and-response and the much-needed anthemic chorus. “Body moving!” lead singer Danny Wright keenly repeats, “Body moving to the beat of your own drum.” If you knew nothing else about the band than this line, then you’d be halfway to becoming an expert. The quintet, which also includes Oliver “Oliwa” Newell, Ethan Glazer, Eric Sullivan, and Erin “Syd” Sidney, is known for their easygoing Ojai sensibilities. They make music together simply because it feels right and allows them to consider their purpose on the daily.
The idea of leading a ‘double life’ is meant as an open-ended idea. Radio Skies discusses a few circumstances on tracks like “Prism” and “Do You Feel,” and references the term explicitly on the closer “The Sky Was Red”; while it remains something they keep at the forefront, there is no solution. We all have several reputations across our many façades—we conceal certain parts of our personalities depending on where we are or who we’re hanging out. At what point, then, are we hiding from ourselves?
Best Albums of 2018
4. Radio Skies – Double Life