Western Skies Motel


Guitarist René Gonzàlez Schelbeck shares in Settlers a collection of intimately composed songs. There’s a timeworn, arid, and almost badlands quality to Schelbeck’s hypnotic, cyclical guitar style that seems to perfectly capture the lonely, barren landscape of the American West. Yet, there are curious dynamics at play here as Schelbeck, who makes music under the alias Western Skies Motel, is from Denmark and far removed from any upbringing in the rough-hewn Americana style of folk guitar. Conceivably, his music has more in common with the lonesome, calculated tone of Berlin’s modern classical scene. Schelbeck is a remarkably well rounded instrumentalist, who spent his early days losing his hearing in local punk rock bands. This youthful love for walls of sound and discordant guitar squalls survives in his modern sound palette. However, his current approach to these techniques brings moments of palpable tension, adding in uneasy waves of guitar feedback and droning harmonium.