Fresh off of an astounding public reaction to his debut single, Vapour, Tim Bettinson or Vancouver Sleep Clinic catches up with us as he prepares to release more material.
So, Vancouver Sleep Clinic! Do you mind explaining how this project came to be and how you got into music in the first place?
Music has always been one of the biggest parts of my life and I think my biggest inspiration to start this came from wanting to make an emotional connection with listeners through my music. I’ve always dreamed of playing with the likes of Sigur Ros, Daughter, Bon Iver, James Blake etc; so I guess I finally decided it was time to take action.
How did you decide on your name? Was it a lengthy process or did it come naturally?
I thought finding a name for this project would be something to fear, but surprisingly it came pretty quickly! Basically, I wanted this project to be atmospheric and dreamy, I suppose something that can help people to sleep; thus the Sleep Clinic part. And I just love everything I’ve seen and heard about Vancouver, so I thought that would fit in nicely at the start for a creative edge.
You have quite an amazing falsetto voice. Did you always utilise it in your music or was it a relatively recent discovery?
Thanks! I’ve always had a tendency to use it a bit with my music; but ‘Vapour’ was the first song that I decided to use entirely falsetto. I thought it would compliment nicely with a base of atmospheric pads.
I love Vapour. Out of of curiosity what’s the story behind that song and where do you get inspiration for your music in general?
I always make sure I can connect on a deep level emotionally with the songs that I write. ‘Vapour’ is about how no matter how many things you store or gain in life, everyone will eventually ‘bow out to the crowd’ and ‘return to the ground.’ I guess it’s kind of a humbling song to remind us to treasure every breath and to act on our faith and love all that we can.
Have you done any live performances yet?
Not yet, but this is probably the part I’m most excited about! I’m in the process of establishing a live band with some talented mates, and we all have a lot of really creative ideas about how we can make the show a really beautiful experience.
You’ve been compared a lot to Bon Iver. It’s very early days but does a comparison like that excite you, or is there a sense of frustration that people compare you to other music?
To be honest, there’s no way I’ll ever be complaining about a comparison to Bon Iver. In my opinion, they’ve produced some of the most beautiful, well-constructed music I’ve ever heard. However, my new stuff will involve a whole new level of creativity. I’ll be looking to emphasis some post-dubstep drum beats and Daughter-esque reverbed instrumentals, whilst still incorporating the Bon-Iverish falsetto vocals that people have seemed to love.
Is it true that you’re also in a band? Do you keep both projects going simultaneously or how does that work?
I have been playing and singing in a band for the last year; but a few of the band guys are coming over to the Vancouver Sleep Clinic live show, so we’re starting to focus more on this. I think there’s a lot more room to grow here!
I feel like there’s a good scene for your type of music in Australia. Would you say that was the case?
Australian music has grown incredibly as of late! These days there are so many cool bands, venues, promoters, radio stations, blogs and websites all selflessly willing to see Australian music grow. We’re in a really exciting time!
So you’ve released Vapour, but everyone is itching for more. Can you give us any news on new music, concerts, etc?
It has seriously been hurting me not to be able to put out this new music I’ve been writing yet; but you can expect a 2nd release in around two weeks! I’m simultaneously working towards the project’s first live show which is on the 30th of August supporting The Trouble With Templeton.
It’s been a pleasure! Best of luck and we hope you come to England at some point to perform!
Thanks so much for having me! That would be an absolute dream.