EP REVIEW: Western Skies Motel, Reflections

westernskiesmotelepTITLE: Reflections
ARTIST: Western Skies Motel
LABEL: Audio Gourmet
RELEASED: September 15th 2013

Instrumental music is rarely my thing as I’m a huge fan of interesting word combinations and story-telling. However, when Danish musician Rene Schelbeck sent me his latest EP to listen to, I couldn’t help but be pretty moved by what I heard. Reflections is his debut solo EP and with not a word in sight, it still managed to truly captivate me.

It’s hard to believe that the creator of this laid-back, beautiful EP has spent time in punk bands. Rene’s solo material couldn’t be more different to his past but it appears the reformed rock star is a master at enchanting and relaxing his listeners. With hints of Americana in the riff structure and so many intricate folk patterns, this is an EP for a calm winter’s evening at home before drifting off to sleep.

Beginning with the title track, Reflections slowly begins with slow, simple folk strums. An atmospheric monotone can be glimpsed at moments but the acoustic guitar creates a real air of mystery and magic. The country influences are detected in the guitar work and the beautiful soundscapes appear from the calming ripples and whimsical charm that the piece possesses.

In the middle is a little bit of darkness. Here and There continues with the soft acoustic ripples and country twang but an eerie other-worldly noise appears in the background and appears to land. A real ominous creature lurks beneath the twinkling guitar and soft folk drum. Drama heightens by the halfway point when a rushing sound persists and creates a disturbing vibe with plenty of suspense. By the end, we’re left with a mechanical siren and sad resonating woodwind notes, putting us down to the ground gently.

Ending on Homesick, a wonderful lullaby led by a slow trudging acoustic. The tidal nature of the rhythm is so relaxing and it’s perfect for washing over yourself while you close your eyes. It’s repetitive and simple with soft droplets of music soothing any modern day stresses. Much like the first track, this is an intricate detailed piece with the power to really evoke a feeling of serenity.

All in all, it’s a very powerful record yet with minimal sound. Rene manages to create a world I want to live in forever with a few simple instruments and I can honestly say that it’s possibly the most perfect instrumental record I’ve ever heard. We all love a chilled out weekend and Western Skies Motel’s Reflections is just ideal.


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