18-year-old Tim Bettinson, better known by his adopted moniker as Vancouver Sleep Clinic, is an ambient artist who’s new EP, Winter resembles a cold, reclusive, winter day. Created over months of writing and recording, Winter is a chilly EP and has soaring falsettos that are greeted with synthy instrumentation, there is obvious Justin Vernon/Bon Iver influences scattered across Vancouver Sleep Clinic’s sound. However, this similarity does not takeaway from this EP’s individuality and these six beautiful tracks shows that Winter is only the beginning of this young musician’s sound.
With soaring falsettos, the vocals on this EP are stunning and throughout Winter, the vocals keep its distance while maintaining the focus of the EP on them. The lyrics on this EP evokes a feeling of winter, much like its namesake, and with his pop influences, Bettinson sings about love. Even as the EP grows in shape, with growing instrumentation and differentiating rhythms, Winter maintains sincere and vulnerable lyrics. The airiness in Bettinson’s voice gives a frosty and solemn mood to the EP. With vague narratives, allowing the listener to interpret the songs in their own way, the themes throughout Winter are clear and yet, never overpowering.
Exploring atmospheric pop, the melodies in Winter are beautiful and emotional, with expressive guitars and gentle piano. Rhythms consist of simple drum beats and glitch pads. A constant percussion section throughout Winter keeps the EP from falling into As the EP progresses tracks such as “Vapour” explodes as the song moves forward into its climax with broader instrumentation. Bettinson’s music is far from minimalistic, there is always room for evolving in his sound, especially on this EP. It is a tough move to insert an interlude, “(Aftermath),” for an up-and-coming artist, especially on a six-track album, but, on this EP, Bettinson seems to know that it will fit and hence, inserts it with beauty.
No matter if you love Bon Iver or not, there is something in Vancouver Sleep Clinic’s sound that is worth listening to.