Opening with the question, “how will you cope / when your world is on fire”, chamber-pop octet Sister Species’ sophomore LP “Heavy Things Do Move” doesn’t offer a simple answer. Instead, accordionist Emily Kastrul (Betazoid, Hazel Ra) and guitarist Abby Kastrul (Bakery Box) transform their deep emotions and experiences with mental health into raw, vibrant, orchestral pop songs.
Drawing listeners in with the pop sensibility of tight harmonies and catchy hooks, Sister Species stretches expectations of pop songs with carefully crafted arrangements that are at times short and sweet, and others intentionally indulgent. Building on the musical relationships of of their 2016 release “Closer Now”, Sister Species new album showcases the full force of their 8 person band. “Heavy Things Do Move” features intricate 3-part trumpet harmonies and thoughtful arrangements by Jake Baldwin (Har Mar Superstar, McNasty Brass Band), Ryan Hays (Matra, Willow Waters & The Earth Tones), Lars Johnson (McNasty Brass Band, Radiochurch), Sten Johnson (McNasty Brass Band, New Sound Underground), Noah Ophoven-Baldwin (Percheron, Realtree, Drone Band), and Adam Zahller (Debths, GUITARband). Hilighting contributions from Andrew Thoreen (Har-di-Har, and and end), Julie Thoreen (Har-di-Har), Tara Loeper (Artemis, Betazoid), Lisa Harrigan (Betazoid), and Matt Olson (Robot Slide), Sister Species' new chamber-pop album reflects their deepened collaborative partnerships and is clearly influenced by the particular creative perspective that each player brings.
While “Heavy Things Do Move” is Sister Species’ most polished and epically orchestrated album to date, it is also their most vulnerable: side B is bookended by stripped down songs with Abby and Emily each accompanying themselves alone on piano. In this way, Sister Species demonstrates the importance of holding space for yourself to feel emotions fully-- and to let go fully, too. Singing through anxiety, loss, intimacy, desire, depression and exhaustion, Sister Species new’ album arrives with a sureness that, like rivers and planets, all heavy things do, indeed, move.