“I had this memory of people having guitars no matter where we were,” songwriter Alicia Viani says of her childhood, much of which was spent overseas, “and how easy it is to share music with people, which speaks to the entire point of why we play songs—to connect and not feel alone.”
This sentiment runs through Viani’s self-titled debut album, coloring her thoughtfully penned songs with a tenderness that becomes familiar throughout the record. Viani, who is now based out of Bend, Oregon, learned to understand the power of music while growing up and traveling abroad. One constant, whether she was in Japan or Indonesia, was that music was always available as a deep form of connection, despite language barriers. She recalls an especially potent memory from her time spent in Mongolia as an adult, when she learned and sang folk songs with her host family while riding horses.