PTM Podcast: In touch with nature and each other with Sister Species

Band B& W Version Sister Species by Ben Kreibich
Sister Species photographed by Ben Kreibich (center: Emily Kastrul, right of center: Willow Waters)

Outer space, magnolia trees, and the “inevitable heat death of the universe” are just a few of the things that influenced Sister Species’ latest album. Sister Species describe themselves as a “chamber pop septet” and the Minneapolis-based band is led by singer, songwriter, and accordionist Emily Kastrul (she/they). 

In this episode, I’m joined by Emily and Sister Species’ guitarist, Willow Waters (she/they). The three of us met up over video chat, from our prospective quarantined locations, to talk about the many musical projects that Emily and Willow play in and how they blended their influences into Sister Species’ upcoming album Light Exchanges. 


Light Exchanges, out May 22nd, takes advantage of Sister Species’ full instrumentation, from accordion to a three-piece trumpet section, and many of the songs reflect on how we interact with nature. Emily wrote these songs months before we knew that we would have to isolate ourselves, but the way that they focus on the beauty and stillness of connecting with nature speaks so pointedly to our current moment. 

There’s something really stabilizing about watching that the world continues and you’re not the center of it,” Emily said during our conversation. “We’re not the only story being told.”

Use the player above to hear to our full conversation, as Emily and Willow talk about how they’re connecting with nature — and each other — despite social distancing. You can also find the Pass The Mic Podcast on PodbeanApple Podcasts, and Spotify.

Songs included in this episode: “Heat Death (Hold Me Here)” and “Cottonwood Trees” by Sister Species

If you want to support the people who make this podcast and Pass The Mic possible, you can head to our Patreon at

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