Country music’s libation of choice might be whiskey, but Robert Ellis swaps the booze for bubbly water on his new song, “Topo Chico.” An ode to Texas’ beloved fizzy drink from Ellis’ forthcoming LP Texas Piano Man, “Topo Chico” harkens back to the classic “Pop a Top,” with the hiss of a bottle opening as prominent as the barnyard boogie piano.
“Life just feels kind of flat without it,” Ellis sings, before launching into the infectious, repeating refrain of “Topo Chico and lime.” Ellis has always been adept at melding humor and musicianship in the tradition of Roger Miller (or his occasional band mate, Jonny Fritz), and “Topo Chico” is a fine example of Americana’s less frequently displayed playful side.
Due out on Valentine’s Day, Texas Piano Man finds Ellis swapping intricate guitar riffs for lush piano and pining for the good ol’ days on songs like “Nobody Smokes Anymore” and lamenting love on “Fucking Crazy.” Ellis will celebrate the release of Texas Piano Man in his home state next week with two in-store appearances at Cactus Records in Houston, Texas, and Waterloo Records in Austin, Texas. He’s also set to appear at South By Southwest in March before embarking on a headlining tour through the spring.
Texas Piano Man is due February 14th via New West.