Someone Will Remember Us is out now.
Existing in the space between sprawling concept album and introductory EP, Viden’s 7-track debut release ‘Someone Will Remember Us’ is an ambitious first release, but one that is executed with the experience of someone who has been doing this for years. After releasing the lead track ‘Laydown Limbs’, what follows is an album full of lyricism wrapped in metaphor and production tricks that ensure the story is at the surface of each track.
Alice Kosmicki, the name behind Viden, talks us through each of the tracks on ‘Someone Will Remember Us’ below.
1MASSACRE I: THE BOY IN THE BAYOU
I knew that the first of the massacres had to be important—like any good prologue, I tried to give it the ability to hook the listener. The gradually loud organs at the beginning intertwined with a distorted “monster voice” sort of play out like an intro track, almost, before we dive into the actual massacre. The beat is reminiscent of now, now’s “colony” which, really, as a song, was my catalyst to create this whole album. The concept of a massacre, a complete washing out of something was interesting to me—it was something I could relate to. It gave me the tools to write about an experience in my life that I never could figure out how to. I knew that it needed to do itself justice in projecting its meaning.
The lyrics create an image of a literal massacre—in my head, it was a village set on fire, bodies being eaten by bugs, the protagonist of the story driving away but still always seeing this in their rearview mirror. I tried to build this one on imagery—set the scene first, give the rest of the details later. laying it all out at first was important for the rest of the story along the album to make sense. there’s a certain lyric that’s easy to miss, perhaps by my own purpose or not: “when it all burns bare, fire meets the air.” The fire imagery matches the burning—the massacre—but it alludes to the love story integrated into the album, too.
I just needed this song to act as a bridge of connections, like the picture on the box while the rest of the album was the actual puzzle pieces. Even within the production, the dreamy carnival sounds leading into angry bass chords paints out the chaos and breaks of heaven to me. I guess it’s just a synopsis of sorts. I just needed three paragraphs to tell you that.
I started this song the night after I got back from a drive to Jupiter, Florida, a beach town about three hours from me. There’s a certain backroad on the way back that has no cell service, no street lights, and barely any cars that roll by besides me (I know, I know, I know). For miles, there’s a lack of light pollution that makes the night sky look like a straight-up painting—like someone just threw glitter in the air and it stayed there. So, simply, this is a love song to space—to the in-between moments. There’s a sort of apocalyptic feel to the lyrics, a hidden sinister backbone holding up the pretty bird-like calls mixed with the organs that sounded heavenly to me—made me so excited to work on this song in particular.
I kept going back to it because I just loved it so much, it made me feel a very specific type of feeling and made me remember exactly what the sky looked like on that night in the middle of nowhere. The mixing is very Pvris-inspired. I finished the mixes on this album after their latest album had come out and felt so inspired by the echos and reverbs placed on only specific words and syllables (particularly in “Heaven”). It made sense to me to have that sort of echo in the mix of this song—like a memory.
The samples I used were, of course, from a space mission. I don’t even really remember how i came across these sound bites—they’re from the Apollo 10 mission, Thomas Stafford, John Young, and Eugene Cernan were aboard and heard weird “music” (take it with a grain of salt) on the other side of the moon. I suppose I just thought it was fitting. I love sampling, and the line “that sure is weird music!” made me laugh. I get that a lot.
I tracked and produced this song an hour before self-releasing the album. For months, they were unrevised words on paper and piano chords sitting in logic. I fought with myself a lot on whether or not I wanted to include it on the album. A very personal song like this where I open up so much was scary for me. I decided last minute that i should revise the lyrics a bit (or a lot) and track some vocals. I’d like to think that this particular song speaks for itself, but maybe that’s just me being a little afraid to speak about it. The lyric “oxygen dressed in all black and a centaur with bindings” alludes back to massacre for the first time, taking the foretold love story and twisting it. This is where the story gets a little jumbled and falls out of chronological order, leaving it up to the protagonist of my story to figure it out for herself. I thought that was fitting, too.
4MASSACRE II: THE GIRL IN THE SWAMP
All three massacres were originally made as one whole, three-part song on one master track. I had originally intended for them to be released this way and the rest of the album to come later. However, the way Laydown Limbs took my heart kind of fucked the whole plan up—which is just fine! This one is one I’m particularly proud of as far as vocals go. I was totally out of my comfort zone, just screaming into my microphone like an angry little brat. I literally had in the notes of this project “channel Meredith Graves!” in regards to my vocals. I knew that this had to be loud. This is the catalyst of the story and I wanted to portray it that way, even within the lyrics: I may forgive but be careful with your bets. I remember writing that and doing a victory fist, like, “yes!”
This song is, to this day, the thing I am most proud of in all my life. It’s also, admittedly, the only song on this whole album that I really remember writing, producing, the whole shebang. I’d just listened to Banks’ “To The Hilt” for the first time. I remember just crying my eyes out in my car because it was exactly how I was feeling in the relationship I was in at the time—backing each other to the breaking point. I’d felt like someone actually got it because for so long I was just keeping my mouth shut about it. This song was where I could be loud about it, tell my truth. For that reason in and of itself, I’m proud.
These lyrics are some of the most Sappho-inspired ones yet. This was where I decided that the whole album was meant to be composed of Sappho-esque lyrics. She’s one of my favourite writers and it just felt fitting (how many times am I gonna use that word?) I wanted to paint a picture with these words, too—a very vivid one at that. In my head, as fucked as it is, it was the protagonist of the story watching their lover lay in bed with someone else—laying down their limbs for another, and keeping quiet, just watching, letting their head get fucked with by it, letting her paranoia hit colossal levels due to it. “I can be the foam washing up on shore” alludes to the original story of the little mermaid, how she watched her lover be with someone else and, to put it bluntly, threw herself to her death and turned into seafoam. I wanted that sort of desperation and fight with oneself to be covered in this song, to express how easy and humane it is to psych ourselves out—whether for good reason or not.
The outro at the end is one hundred percent Florence + the Machine inspired—a sort of chant or ritual. In Polish, I’m basically saying “all’s fair in love and war,” a classic saying that I thought would give a relevant twist within the context of the song. It was kind of like saying “yeah, this is happening and I feel sort of trapped by it, but all’s fair in love and war, right?” The production of the song, I hope, mirrors the desperation and paranoia as well. The intro of the song starts with the panning of what I can only describe, in my head, as sort of “alarms”—like something that someone had been watching had gotten lose and was running free, setting all the alarms off to go get it.
In the chorus, there’s a call-and-response between choir and brass with a crying-out melody laid in the back—almost like no one’s really listening to it amongst the rest of the chaos in the song. I wanted it to be heavy, I wanted it to be loud, chaotic, harsh because that’s how I felt. that’s exactly how I was feeling. Nicholas Starrantino mixed this one for me. I wish I could say that it was hard to let this song, which is ultimately my baby, into the hands of someone else, but I trusted him wholeheartedly with this one—and he delivered. My mixed version of this song just wouldn’t do it justice. This is more chaotic, this is exactly how it was supposed to sound. Every single sound gets a chance to be heard. Whether or not someone wants to listen is sort of the point.
6DANCE ON THE BED
This was a hard song to not throw away completely. This is the beginning of the love story on this record—it goes backwards while the story of the massacre goes forwards. It’s dreamy, it’s got a calming guitar, water droplets, a lover’s laugh, and samples of space. there’s a sort of break in the song before any lyrics come in where samples of wavelengths from important outer space characters like the sun, mercury, and mars make up the minute as the sound of a tape is being put in. this gave me a more futuristic feel, which was what the whole of this song was to me—“I see people in the future.”
It sort of delivers to me a feeling of what the love story was, exactly what it felt like: transcending across the massacre, across planes and universes. Essentially, it’s the last song on the record, so I knew it had to be important. I knew it had to sum up the record in a way (the title comes from these verses, after all). I knew it had to be this one—a song i have such a love/hate relationship with. Sums it up pretty well.
7MASSACRE III: THEIR TERRIBLE CRIMES
Spoken word is something I’ve been doing for a long while but had never integrated with my music until this one. The background noise is the sound of cicadas that I sampled while taking a hike one dusk. Again, it ties back to the two previous massacres, the previous organs from the prologue making a very short and dim appearance. I think, ultimately, I always knew that I wanted spoken word here. I’d only ever written about this topic in poetry and spoken word before—it made sense to pay homage to it. The first massacre laid out the story, the second got out the emotion, and this final one gave the options—plead guilty and escape or stay hidden and locked away. This message was more for me than anyone else than to “the boy in the bayou.” In a way, the entirety of the record was a letter to myself, a reminder of sorts, and a warning. Topping it off with the sound of footsteps running either towards or away from something seemed to be the final list of options for this record, its listener, and myself.