The Brisbane, Australia-born and-based singer/songwriter, electronic music producer and ambient electronic music artist Tim Bettinson is the creative mastermind behind the Brisbane-based 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 will be releasing his highly-anticipated sophomore Vancouver Sleep Clinic album Onward to Zion on October 18, 2019.
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, Bettinson’s sophomore Vancouver Sleep Clinic album 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,” says Bettinson. “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.”
“Fever,” Onward to Zion’s third and final single is a gorgeous yet contemplative track centered around shimmering, strummed guitar and Bettinson’s sweetly plaintive vocals. While bearing a bit of a sonic resemblance to Parachutes-era Coldplay, the new single is a decidedly upbeat song focusing on perseverance and survival, ultimately saying that it’s okay to rely on others in your times of need.
“‘Fever’ is the last song I wrote for Onwards to Zion and the final single to come out,” Bettinson says in press notes. “The timing feels special because ‘Fever’ really embodies the theme of perseverance from across the album and is written for the amazing people in my life that have inspired me and continue to help me press on in this journey.”