Crystal City is the fruitful collaboration between Iowa musicians Dave Helmer and Sam Drella. The bands sound is best described as a mash-up of The Replacements, Wilco and Lana Del Rey. The opener “The Best Way” is the most energetic, fast paced rock tune. The lyrics are well written and the albums theme is about the ins and outs of a love affair.
Honesty is always the key to a healthy relationship. There is a definite relationship between artist and art appreciator, and just like any other relationship, honesty is the key. In the case of music, I think too often the people who listen are sometimes besieged by charlatans looking for, I don’t know, money or fame or just to be part of the rock and roll lifestyle. Those artists never last, though. They at best become flashes in the pan but more often than not get sniffed out immediately and treated with the derision they deserve.
Crystal City’s new album Change represents the results of a well-conceived collaboration between Dave Helmer and Sam Drella, two artists who’ve built up considerable goodwill in the Iowa music scene with first-rate song craft.
In the past few years several bands have put Marshalltown, Iowa on the map as a musical Mecca; Modern Life is War and Land of Blood and Sunshine have both made fantastic albums that have a real depth and beauty! You should now add Crystal City to that list!
Back in 2010, Crystal City were a couple/songwriting team from Marshalltown, and they released an eponymous EP of sweet, catchy, melodic songs on the up and coming Sleep On The Floor label out of Des Moines. It was clear they were great performers and musicians, and just generally great folks as well.