Maximalist, Homemade, & Joyful: A Guide to sister.’s Deeply Vulnerable Debut Album, ‘Abundance’

Sister. © 2023
Sister. © 2023
A breathtaking exercise in human connection and vulnerability, sister.’s debut album ‘Abundance’ aches with a warm inner light as the Brooklyn indie rock trio candidly explore what it means to be alive and feel connected to others in this cold, dark world.
for fans of boygenius, Bleach Lab, Mazzy Star
Stream: “Abundance” – sister.

There’s one lyric, about halfway through sister.’s debut album, that sums up pretty much everything you need to know about the Brooklyn band and their first record: “If your heart is hardly scattered, I’ll pick the pieces up that much more,” Ceci Sturman and Hannah Pruzinsky sing together on “Classon,” a heavy song weighed down by the intensity of its own emotions. It’s a moment of truth for the two best friends – a declaration of undying devotion to one another, despite whatever hardships may (and do) come between them.

This simple sentiment is the connective tissue binding everything together on the nine-track Abundance: From intimate indie folk reflections to grunge-y indie rock outpourings, cathartic pop songs, and everything in-between, sister.’s first full-length album is a breathtaking exercise in human connection and vulnerability. It’s a softly cinematic record of intertwined hearts worn on sleeves; of souls bare and exposed; of life lived uncompromisingly and unapologetically in the moment. Heavy yet soft, tender yet hard-hitting, Abundance aches with a warm inner light as sister. candidly explore what it means to be alive and connected to others in this cold, dark world.

Abundance - sister.
Abundance – sister.
I bury the rocks that I dig up tomorrow
And under my pillow
Are seeds as a last resort
I’m trying to fill all
The parts that i excavate
Abundance is difficult
You know i don’t like to take
So i’ll keep you in the hood of my sweatshirt
So you can keep eyes on the back of my ears
You said you want a gift
You’re not a giver
So i bleed for you

Released October 20, 2023 via Mtn Laurel Recording Co., Abundance is a beautiful, soul-stirring indie rock embrace of the human condition in its rawest and most vulnerable forms. It’s a record that dwells in the deep end – showcasing all there is to love about sister., one of the Brooklyn indie scene’s best-kept secrets (for now, but not for long). The trio of Hannah Pruzinsky, Ceci Sturman, and James Chrisman, sister. have been active since 2019; they released their debut EP Soft Spot in 2020, and followed with the four-track Something / Nothing in 2021.

The group’s name actually speaks to so much of their core identity: “We chose the name sister. very early on in the genesis of our band when it was just the two of us making songs,” Ceci Sturman and Hannah Pruzinsky tell Atwood Magazine. “We would end up singing at friends’ weddings and church basements, etc. people would always ask us if we’re sisters, and we thought that was sweet (and funny). We added the period for searchability because of course there were other bands named sister.”

sister. © 2023
sister. © 2023

They say there’s nothing closer than the bond shared between sisters, and we’ve certainly felt the depth of that connection radiating throughout this band’s songs. Atwood Magazine previously praised sister.’s 2022 standalone single “Space Force,” calling it “a heavy, weightless experience: One that leaves us breathless and adrift in a pool of our own endless thoughts” while further noting how the trio drench their listeners “in a thick haze of lo-fi warmth and alternative angst.” The same can easily be said of Abundance, which introduces the band and their many musical sides through nine diaristic, emotionally-charged songs that send shivers down the spine.

“This body of songs feels very tied to our friendship and a time of joy, exploration, stretching and risking,” Sturman and Pruzinsky explain. “We feel like we were finally able to actualize who we are as a band and what we’re trying to say. We have lived together for nine years, and for all of those years have had a beautiful, complex, and expansive relationship that now feels very simple, in that it revolves around our care for each other, and we wanted Abundance to show that.

“Honestly, we didn’t hugely have a vision beforehand. We just wanted to challenge ourselves to do it all, ourselves, in a big way for the first time. We had a handful of songs and we wanted to see how they could fit together. We spent a week upstate, us two and James, figuring out what and how we wanted to express sonically. James is a very intuitive producer and musician, and is so good at translating the feeling and emotion that we feel drawn to.”

sister. © 2023
sister. © 2023

sister. describe their debut album as “maximalist, homemade, and joyful.”

“I think the album is very diverse sonically,” Sturman adds. “From a pop song like ‘guts,’ to a stripped tape recording of ‘desire’ that we did in one take. We want people to both have the experience of seeing us as a banger rock band and also an emotionally moving three piece when they listen to these songs. We like to change things up a lot and perform this project in many different ways, variations, so this feels true to that.”

The album’s title, they explain, is a reference to the song of the same name, which closes out the album. “[It’s] the song on the album we are the most proud of, from its songwriting, to its release. ‘Abundance’ is a beautiful word, also, and it feels really timeless.”

Atwood Magazine had the honor of premiering “Abundance” earlier this October, praising the nearly six-minute song for its depth, breathtakingly raw sound, and unfiltered self-expression: “Beyond the intimacy, the tenderness, and the warmth of their new single ‘Abundance’ is a soul-stirring vulnerability that lays bare our common humanity, expressing what it means to love, to be loved, and to meaningfully connect with others.” It’s a striking, cathartic finale to a record that aches the whole way through: From the soul-stirring beauty of album opener “Ghost,” a dolled-up voice memo full of heart, pain, and passion, to such standout tracks as “Notes App Apology,” “Gorilla vs Cold Water,” “Kinder,” and the aforementioned “Classon,” Abundance brings us deep into sister.’s inner sanctum through enchantingly visceral music and equally resonant lyrics.

In fact, the trio highlight three of their favorite lines:

is your blood so forgiving, you forgot that it’s new” – “gorilla vs. cold water”
i can’t start to explain what it means for a thing to change” – “desire”
so i grab onto dust, it’s red on my fingers, it’s pink in the sun” – “abundance”

Sister. © 2023
Sister. © 2023

Come along and let sister.’s Abundance soothe, stun, and stir you awake.

Fans of artists like boygenius, The Japanese House, Lizzy McAlpine, and Big Thief are sure to fall head over heals for sister.’s sound, but previous knowledge of any sort of indie music is not a prerequisite for getting to know this band: All you need is a beating heart and a bleeding soul.

“We’re honestly just excited for it to be out at all,” sister. share. “We experimented so much on this record and feel like there’s such a range of emotion and expression that we are proud to share. It’s super vulnerable in a very exciting way – not scary for once. It’s cool to share how best friends can just make something big happen.”

Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside sister.’s Abundance with Atwood Magazine as the band goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of their debut album!

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:: stream/purchase Abundance here ::
:: connect with sister. here ::
Stream: ‘Abundance’ – sister.

:: Inside Abundance ::

Abundance - sister.

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Ceci: This is a song I wrote at ghost ranch in New Mexico two summers ago. I was there on a retreat with my mom and this song came from me trying to teach myself piano. i recorded a voice memo when i was showing my mom, sitting next to me on the stool. i sent it to hannah and james and then a few months later james sent it back out of the blue with this beautiful production he had been working on, it was so moving to me. i was nervous about it being on (opening!) the album at first, because of how raw the recording was, how unprepared, now it just feels so true and honest to the pursuit of this record, and i’m grateful its on there.

Notes App Apology

James: The arrangement on this one took a bit longer than the other tracks. Alex, who engineered the live drums, was the one who suggested that Felix play that beat straight through, which is what really made this version really click. The lyrics of this song are really sad, but the production is so fun, and for me that contrast is super satisfying.


Hannah: Firing feels like one of the big heaters on this album, both lyrically and in its production. The song was also one of our first co-writing experiences, with the three of us all turning over the theme of anger and angst within a relationship. Ceci and I have been friends for nearly a decade, so we’re no stranger to it within our dynamic, which makes writing these narratives that much more interesting


James: The three of us wrote this song together in one sitting as an experiment. We were having fun with leaning into making something that was more poppy and romantic, and that freed us up to write a song none of us would’ve written alone but that we’re all really proud of.

Gorilla vs. Cold Water

Ceci: I was in a fiction workshop at the time I wrote gorilla vs. cold water, and really inspired by the idea of extremely heartbroken sailors in the 1800s experiencing all of the same emotions that I am. We arranged it as a band, and it came together so naturally, I love how it builds, I love how it breaks down. I had no title and I saw a tweet of a video of a gorilla fighting cold water.


James: This is technically the oldest song on the record. Ceci and Hannah wrote it years ago about a fight between the two of them, and it was kind of strummy and folky. Right before we went up to Woodstock to record, I suggested bringing the song back with the angrier arrangement of the chugging guitar and piano, and once we got up there it really came together with those aggressive, interlocking drum machines.


Hannah: There is a sheen to the boldness of adolescent love. I think there is also something particularly enjoyable and a bit melancholic (addictingly) about reminiscing on suburban teenage love and angst, something quite distant from the three of us now in our adult lives in Brooklyn. But, to me at least, this song feels like an ode to that and all the glory surrounding that sort of sneaking around, trespassing vibrance.


Hannah: Desire was the last song we wrote for the album, coming together late in the summer of 2022. I was in that part of a break-up where you’re spending a lot of time in your note’s app figuring out the right way to say all the things that can never really be properly said. I think the song does the best job of explaining the rest of what that looks like.


Ceci: Hannah and I spent months writing the lyrics to “Abundance,” and it’s one of those songs where all the work feels really really worth it. when we arranged the song together with james, it immediately made sense.
“Abundance” is maybe the most important song we have ever written together, because its all us. we wanted to write a song about what giving feels like. we wanted to write it again and again until it felt right to both of us, giving to it, to each other. Giving is complicated just like our friendship is complicated, we’ve worked so hard to offer each other care in the ways that best feel right. We’ve messed up a lot, we’ve learned so much about love. We painted abundance when we were writing it. We started with pink and we worked backwards

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:: stream/purchase Abundance here ::
:: connect with sister. here ::

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Abundance - sister.

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