I’m a big fan of Vancouver Sleep Clinic, otherwise known as ambient singer, songwriter, and producer, Time Bettinson. I find their music consoling, unassuming, comforting, and calming; a perfect fit for their name, effectively. This band is literally a balm for soothing tired minds and souls. The soft, dreamy vocals and simple, melodic instrumentals envelop you like a blanket of soft cloud, creating a barrier that allows the churning waves of the day to crash over and around you without touching you at all.
Their latest offering, “Into the Black”, was released on March 12th, 2021 as part of their mini-album, From a Distant Dream. The three other tracks featured on the EP include “You Open My Mind” and “I Sunk in All the Memories”, and each feature Kyoko Ogasawara in a songwriting and vocal capacity. It’s not quite the Vancouver Sleep Clinic I’ve come to know and love, and the tracks are all relatively short (the entire album spans a length of about 6 minutes) with a more somber and subdued musical approach than I’d expect from them, but it’s still beautiful and pacifying all the same.
The songs on the new EP do actually sound like they were borne of a distant dream, in the most exquisite way. They play within the liminal spaces, and hold your hand gently as they walk you through them. Vancouver Sleep Clinic communicate a distinct and unashamedly honest truth through their music: the tears may fall, but there’s catharsis in that; after all, it’ the cracks that allow the light to get in.