Crystal City Iowa City, IA


Crystal City

Crystal City is a group fronted by Dave Helmer and Sam Drella. Helmer is a Midwestern singer/songwriter from central Iowa with blue-collar roots. Heavily influenced by Paul Westerberg, Tom Petty, John Prine and Townes Van Zandt, Helmer’s songs are approachable and relatable, touching on themes of love and loss, being good to each other and celebrating life.

In 2009, Crystal City formed as a duo, recording their self-titled acoustic EP just three months after meeting. In the years to follow, the duo grew into a full band. In May 2014, their full-length album Change was released. The album was met with positive reviews from around the country due to its blend of rock and acoustic songs.

Following the successful reception of Change, the band spent the year playing shows around the country, sharing the stage with national acts such as The Whigs, The Good Life, HoneyHoney and The Ike Reilly Assassination.

Taking on dual personalities, Crystal City plays regularly around the Midwest as a Rock’n’Roll outfit as well as performing more intimately as a fingerstyle duo, with rich harmonies and melodic whistling, comparable to the likes of Andrew Bird. Crystal City’s classic songwriting can warm a weary heart and get bedraggled feet stomping.

Helmer, a graduate in Guitar Building and Repair (Red Wing, MN), regularly performs on unique instruments that he built himself, like his slope-shoulder dreadnought guitar embellished with brass bridge pins by Drella – a finely crafted complement to his songs.

Based out of Iowa City, IA, Crystal City's full-length album "Change" is available now.


Crystal City

Crystal City

1. Falling Behind
2. Baby Says She Loves Me
3. Bricks
4. Sleep It Off, Suzie
5. I'll Be Real Nice
6. Secret for the Two of Us
7. The Cleaner Me


1. The Best Way
2. Dynamite
3. Change
4. Give Me a Kiss
5. Waiting
6. Where the Treasure Is
7. Pink Bayonet
8. Tangled Down
9. Don't You Know
10. Little Italy
11. Every Time You Cry