Fresh off the release of Yesteryear, five-piece alt-country and folk rock band Neopolitan celebrated their debut release inside a buzzing and filled Icehouse last night. Although the band is relatively new to the Minneapolis scene, the origins step back to 2016 when they formed in Northfield. Four of the members all live under one roof. This close knitted group displayed that comfort onstage, while sharing songs about youth, heartache, and universal empathy.
Centering the group is Harry Edstrom that carries along his North Texas outlaw country influences. Add pedal steel Jonah Lyddon Hatten to the mix and you instantly have a foot-tapping foundation. The rise in popularity of country music continues to grow in the Twin Cities and Neopolitan is a worthy addition to the scene.
Wasting no time, Neopolitan dove right into their single “On Your Time” first. The slather of pedal steel and Nick Baker’s electric guitar reinforced the solemn vocals of Edstrom. The song also quickly established the tightness from the unit. Rhythm section Nate LeBrun (drums) and Tobias Martin (bass) were bond together all evening.
The immediate charm from Neopolitan comes from the vulnerable, earnest nature of Edstrom’s voice. There’s a sincerity that seeps through the microphone and songs like “God’s Hot Car” and “I’m Already Gone” carry a weight in them. The songs feel like they come from a personal witnessing of life as a poetic retelling. There’s heart behind the lines.
The performance of “The Ballad of Girth Brooks”, written about a dating mishap with a woman on Tinder named Girth Brooks, is a prime example of Edstrom’s storytelling that leans on a bittersweet and dry humor. Cracking a laugh during the last verse, the song provided smirks all around the room.
Beyond the small hootenanny of dancing that broke out side stage, and the scattered balloons bouncing around the room from opener Dilly Dally Alley, Neopolitan showed their dynamics with a heavier harmonica induced swagger country tune and Gillian Welch cover “Look at Miss Ohio”. The cover welcomed the return of Sophia Spiegel on vocals.
Another key highlight from the show came when the band stepped off stage, leaving Edstrom. The tender and heartbreaking tune quieted the room with a story about being lonely and contemplating heavy decisions.The lyrics slowly playing out that pulls at your heart.
“At the end of the night when the strangers all go home,
She’ll be thinkin, she just might go out it alone.”
Neopolitan is a buzzing band that is bound to expand on their songs and releases, filling another welcomed spot in our alt-country folk community and lineups.
If you haven’t heard their debut release, check it out here.