Summer pop hits are great for dancing your heart out on a Saturday night or singing at the top of your lungs while you make dinner on the infrequent occasions that your roommate isn't home. (Don't pretend you don't do it.) But sometimes the rare solitude in your apartment inspires introspection instead of turning you into a pop/R&B mogul or you just need something a little more mellow to accompany your morning commute or your time sitting directly in the path of the only fan in your living room on a sweltering hot afternoon. Up-and-coming ambient band Vancouver Sleep Clinic is the perfect selection for either of these less exuberant summer moments.
VSC is deceptively not Canadian. Tim Bettinson, lead vocalist and mastermind behind composing much of the band's music is from Brisbane, Australia and picked the name without ever having visited Vancouver simply because it looked like a beautiful place. The natural beauty of Canada is a perfect metaphor for the soaring yet calming music that characterizes VSC, which is comprised of Bettinson plus Aaron Moore on keys.
Bettinson recorded Vancouver Sleep Clinic's first EP, Winter, as a solo project when he was still in high school, scrawling lyrics on the inside covers of his textbooks. I too was notorious for doodling on school property in my youth, but my art career started and ended in the Pennsylvania public school system while Bettinson's recordings of songs like "Vapour" and "Flaws" got thousands of hits on Soundcloud and earned him a devoted group of fans despite minimal commercial promotion. Soon, VSC was performing at popular festivals like SXSW and opening for well-known artists such as London Grammar. This exposure not only helped the band gain recognition and grow their faithful fan base, but also led to some of the songs on their 2016 album, Revival.
Vancouver Sleep Clinic stopped by Baeble HQ during their North American tour with Revival, which marks the band's first time in the states as a headlining act. Bettinson and Moore filled our studio with floating melodies from their new album, including a rendition of "Killing Me To Love You" that stripped away the studio recording's synth effects and drums to feature the song's emotional lyrics over keys and simple guitar chords. Stay tuned for our session with Vancouver Sleep Clinic later this week so you can check out this unique version of their most powerful song and marvel at how Bettinson's impossibly beautiful falsetto voice somehow sounds even better live than it does on a recording. Until then, find a tranquil place and listen to both Winter and Revival because the only acceptable reason not to love Vancouver Sleep Clinic is that you haven't heard them yet.
- And we're Vancouver Sleep Cl...No, we'll do that again, actually. That's not a very good start. - Yeah, that's a bit lame. - All right. I'm Tim. - And I'm Aaron. - And we're both in a band called Vancouver Sleep Clinic. You were alone, left out in the cold clinging to the ruin of your broken home. - From Brisbane, Australia, so little bit of a way away. We're here on our first headline tour for our new album. We've been here a couple of times before, stuff, but this is the first time people are coming to see us, so it's a pretty cool feeling. People know the words to our songs and like, you know, buying our merch, listening to our music, so it's amazing to actually meet those people and be able to play all the songs for them. So, yeah, it's been great. Can somebody help me out? I can't find my feet. I'm sinking in the deep can somebody pick me up? The voice is too loud I'm losing in the crowd. Because I can't breathe I can't breathe. Because I can't breathe I can't breathe. Somebody help me out. - Lung is the first song that I actually wrote for the album, and I remember...you probably remember this, the first tour we did in Australia, we were supporting this band called London Grammar. And I had four songs done, so I had to write one like, two days before our tour just so we could play long enough. And so, that was Lung. Because, you know, I actually felt genuinely anxious about it and struggling to get breath, in a way, so that's kind of where that came from. the memory, on your own. Nothing worsens - Yeah, this is kind of how a load of the songs are written, just me on a piano or me on a guitar. - I guess, when there's all this production and extra sounds going along, it's easy to get caught up in the cool sounds and your favorite bits in the song, but I guess, this really pulls it back to the lyrical content and the message that's trying to get put across to the audience. Your body is broken but you're trying to fight this and your arms are weary but you're trying to hide this. And I, I'm bringing you home it's been so long. Now, we're fighting their war back to where you belong. It's growing faster than you've grown Now you're stronger than yourself I'm fighting for you I'm hiding for you But it's killing me to love you but it's killing me to love you But it's killing me to love you but it's killing me to love you But it's killing me to love you. You lost it all and now you've been left open. You were starting to heal but you've been tearing apart this It's growing faster than you've grown Now you're stronger than yourself I'm fighting for you I'm hiding for you But it's killing me to love you but it's killing me to love you But it's killing me to love you but it's killing me to love you. I want to keep faith but you're making it harder It's killing me to love you I'm reaching out now but you're pulling me under It's killing me to love you I give you my heart just to watch you waste it It's killing me to love you But I can't let go when you still need saving. But it's killing me to love you it's killing me to love you it's killing me to love you killing me to love you. - So, the new album's called Revival. I started writing it when I was 18, and it's the journey that I had from kind of being thrown from high school into the music industry and making a record. It was kind of that whole process. You know, living in America, living away from my friends and family. It's all the different phases of that journey for me. So take all of me. - Yeah, we worked mostly with this guy called Pandagunda, from Europe. He did all of the album art, single art, some of the animated visuals on YouTube that we have. I love how he took the human anatomy and personified it and brought life to it, which is what I was trying to do in the music as well. He's awesome. We worked with this amazing woman called Pilar, as well, who did a bunch of awesome symbology, which I've always wanted to do for the project. So, you know, between those two, we really put together the whole vision. I was loving the process of that, it was great. You were alone left out in the cold clinging to the ruin of your broken home. Too lost and hurting to carry your load We all need someone to hold. And you've been fighting the memory, all on your own nothing worsens, nothing grows. I know how it feels being by yourself in the rain. We all need someone to stay. And we all need someone to stay. The falling and lonely, cry out "Will you fix me up? Will you show me hope?" At the end of the day, we're helpless. Can you keep me close? Can you love me most? You've drunk it down and you've spat it out Nothing tastes like the things you had So turn it off, why don't you let them go? We all need someone to stay. We all need someone to stay. The falling and lonely, cry out "Will you fix me up? Will you show me hope?" At the end of the day, we're helpless. Can you keep me close? Can you love me most? Can you keep me close? Can you love me most? Can you keep me close? Can you love me most? You were alone left out in the cold clinging to the ruin of your broken home. The falling and lonely, cry out "Will you fix me up? Will you show me hope?" The end of the day, we're helpless. Can you keep me close? Can you love me? Now, now, now? The falling and lonely, cry out "Will you fix me up? Will you show me hope?" At the end of the day, we're helpless. Can you keep me close? Can you love me now? Now? Now? Now? - The music kind of sits in a weird space, even for me to try and describe. It's like, I guess I would just put it forward as something that's honest to me and a recollection of my journey over the last few years. Ultimately, it's a journey that I hope will inspire peace, and hope, and love overall. Somebody help me out.
Tim Bettinson, the creative force behind Vancouver Sleep Clinic, is a singer, songwriter and producer from Brisbane, Australia. His first EP, Winter, was self-released on SoundCloud in 2014 with few expectations. However, it quickly attracted a global audience and has garnered over 30,000,000 streams and 100,000 digital sales to dateprompting The Guardian to hail Bettinson as the new teen wonder of Australian indie folktronic R&B. Following the success of Winter, Vancouver Sleep Clinic became a well known name with a sold out tour of Australia and Europefeats all accomplished at the age of 18.
Bettinsons latest work, including his singles Lung and Killing Me To Love You, was written while on a break from touring during a volunteer trip to Cambodia and the Philippinesan experience which put Bettinsons own circumstances into an acute perspective. This resulted in songs which Bettinson says, follow the journey of finding my place in the world and finding my feet in what I was doing.
After crafting demos in his home studio, Bettinson travelled to Los Angeles and enlisted the help of producer Al Shux, who has produced hits for Jay Z, Lana Del Rey, Alicia Keys and Lianne La Havas. Further music from Vancouver Sleep Clinic is slated for release later this year.