Music often serves several purposes, although individual listening experiences may differ entirely, most of us are on the hunt for that active listening experience. But sometimes, as listeners and lovers of music, we look for something to listen with us. To help transform people into places and search for a home amongst a blissful sense of longing. The latest offering from Vancouver Sleep Clinic (VSC), ‘Someone To Stay’ fits this brief perfectly, a wash of colour and calm. We were thrilled to chat to frontman Tim Bettinson about travelling, perspective and when we will (finally) see a full length record.
The title and the overall feeling of the track makes it really easy for the listener to get swept up in the notion of listening to a love song. It’s a beautiful combination of sound and space. But, after chatting to Tim, initial pre misconceptions were cleared and something much more complex surfaced. “I did a mission trip to Cambodia and the Philippines about a year and a half ago and I think the idea behind that song comes from getting smashed in the face by being in those countries, and seeing the extent of poverty and helplessness that’s present there”.
Continuing, Tim adds, with such a settled sense of grounded morality, “I think it’s a thing that in first world culture, it’s really easy to be unaware of that situation that those people are in. More than anything that song was inspired by that and it’s really just about raising awareness and kind of writing hope for those people”.
Despite being the (early) morning after the band wrapped their first headline tour, Tim is open, honest and seemed very excited to provide further breakdown and expand upon the concept of such a key track on the record. “The thing I like about that song and the point of me writing about it, is that you can be so far removed when you’re so far away from home, but there’s a point where you come home and you’re seeing the same things happening. It’s emotional factors as well in that, rich people seem to have it all but are still really lonely and really needy. It’s a very basic human requirement to have comfort and love”.
Tim, along with the majority of other hardworking touring musicians can relate to this particular sentiment in terms of living life on the road. “It’s a weird vibe, you see so many people but you don’t really make these connections with anyone at all because you’re just passing through. You don’t have much time, it’s almost really isolating in a way because you’re leaving cities five hours after playing there”. But, reflecting on the positives of such a fast paced schedule, Tim adds, “… But it can be really rewarding, meeting all of the people who have been listening to our music for such a long time. There’s a really amazing comfort in that”.
Speaking of touring, 2016 saw VSC head Stateside for the first time, supporting heavyweights Daughter on their North American tour. “We did the US for the first time and got the opportunity to share a bunch of new and old songs to people who had been listening to us for years. It was definitely an emotional and different experience for us but It was really special and there’s always a strong connection between us and the people in the room, we felt really lucky to be playing with them”.
2017 will see the band take on an even busier schedule with Tim, along with his VSC bandmates endeavouring to do a lot more touring with some added creative elements to the live experience. “We want to go to a bunch of new places and we want to really create a whole visual experience to go along with the live show, it’s going to be really exciting I think”. Thankfully, their new sound won’t be kept under wraps for too long, with a full length album release finally in the pipeline.
“It’s done,” Tim says triumphantly. “We’ve had it done for about six months now. We are just getting all of the art and the visuals down pat. It’s going to be out in February, we’re all super excited because it’s been so long since we’ve put out music”. Continuing Tim says, “It’s been a dream of mine ever since I started this project. We’re super lucky enough to have the money and the time and the people involved to make it happen. It’s definitely been a long time coming and I can’t wait for people to hear it”.
Their debut album Revival is due out in February through Sony Music. “It’s definitely a concept record, all the songs are very cohesive and tell a story of the journey I went on over the two years when I was making it and it’s really cohesive to a lot of different emotional phases and sonics and textures. I’m super excited for people to hear it but I’m really nervous as well.”
If the recent single releases are any sort of indication, we can expect wonderful, beautifully intricate tracks. A real cinematic treat for the ears.