Live Concert Photography: Vancouver Sleep Clinic with Velvet Negroni at Bowery Ballroom 12/3/19
Tim Bettinson is the Brisbane, Australia-born and-based singer/songwriter, electronic music producer, ambient electronic music artist and creative mastermind behind the acclaimed solo recording project Vancouver Sleep Clinic.When Bettinson was just 17-year-old, he rose to international acclaim with the release of his debut EP Winter in 2014. After spending several years of major label purgatory and a concerted effort on his part to reclaim his music for himself, Bettison released his highly-anticipated sophomore Vancouver Sleep Clinic album Onward to Zion earlier this year.
Written in Bali, during a period of isolation last fall, Onward to Zion‘s material is a decided and purposeful departure from the electronic driven sound and song construction — with Bettison writing much of the album on a $100 nylon guitar bought at one of Bali’s only music stores. “I’d started getting used to making three-and-half-minute songs with a beat and a hook-but the thing is that I don’t really come from making beats,” Bettinson explains in press notes. “I used to busk: that’s where I came from. The whole direction of this album changed for me once I realized I wanted to put the focus back on guitar again.”
Despite the seemingly simplicity of its origins, Onward to Zion‘s material is centered around a distinctly collagic sonic palette, encompassing a wide variety of things including ethereal atmospherics, psychedelic synth tones and hazy samples of 60s jazz-pop records. Along with that, the material represents a deliberate tonal shift from last year’s Therapy 1 EP and Therapy 2 EP. “The Therapy songs mostly came from a place of frustration-just me complaining about the situation I was in back then,” Bettinson explained in press notes. “When I sat down to think about the new album, I realized I don’t want my discography to reflect bitterness: I want to put something positive into the world. So even though it’s got some darkness, and it’s a bit of an emotional rollercoaster at times, the album is very much coming from a place of love. I’d love for it to leave people feeling re-energized, and ready to just keep pressing on in their own lives.”
Bettinson, along with a backing band played a headlining Bowery Ballroom set primarily focused on Onward to Zion including the gorgeous and contemplative “Fever” as well as a selection of crowd-pleasing older material. The genre-defying pop act Velvet Negroni opened. Check out photos from the show below.
Opening the night was Velvet Negroni, the genre-defying recording project of its creative mastermind, Minnesota-born singer/songwriter Jeremy Nutzman, best known for his work as the frontman of Minnesota-based indie rock act Pony Bwoy.