In the 21st century, leaking an artist’s private phone number is one of the best ways to invade their always-shrinking privacy. Perhaps that’s why Vancouver Sleep Clinic made their own “tour phone,” a very public line that fans can call whenever they need “help with homework or useless relationship advice” in an effort to skirt the issue in the first place.
Finally, a band that really cares about you.
VSC Tour Phone is back! ☺️ If you need help with homework, useless relationship advice or just someone to talk to hit up +1 (323) 317-0621
— vancouversleepclinic (@vcsleepclinic) May 16, 2017
In actuality, Vancouver Sleep Clinic is a misnomer in more ways than one; the band not only hails from Australia (not Western Canada), but also doesn’t have anything to do with dozing off. You could call 21-year-old frontman Tim Bettinson a liar, or you could chalk the guise up to “artistic license.”
Artistic license almost always wins.
Bettinson fronts the ambient band, whose debut full-length album Revival dropped last month via Sony/Columbia. Revival unfurls as the culmination of three years abroad for the lead singer, who traveled to Cambodia and the Philippines as a part of a lengthy mission trip. Yet, Vancouver Sleep Clinic doesn’t make music to help you catch z’s; instead, the band is in the business of spurring on lucid dreams.
Opening with gentle track “Whispers,” Bettinson quickly dives into the tough subjects by second “Killing Me To Love You.” But even when the lyrics seem heavy with the weight of remorse, his soundscapes remain wispy and light, if not a touch transcendental. “But I burn with feeble offerings/Nothing to sustain/Fan against the flame/Oh what I’ve made,” he reflects with regret on “Unworthy,” the song he cites as the most special for him on the album. With a choir of violins carrying the tune, it unfolds as more of a trance than a guilt trip.
One day Bettinson plans to build a real Vancouver Sleep Clinic (complete with hammocks) but until then, the iconically darkened room at Great Scott will be de dimly-lit enough to carry out the mellow themes of the Aussie band.