Robert Ellis Reveals First Track From New Album, "The Lights From The Chemical Plant"

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Robert Ellis
Robert Ellis

Photo by David McClister

New West Records is excited to share the first song from the soon-to-be-released Robert Ellis album, The Lights From The Chemical Plant. Titled “Only Lies,” the quiet, dusky yet heartbreaking song got its premiere on Esquire.com today.

“Only Lies” is one of 11 compelling tracks from Ellis’ third record, which was produced by Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Kings of Leon, Norah Jones) at Eric Masse’s Casino studio in East Nashville, and will be released on February 11, 2014. Ellis is also announcing his first-ever North American headlining tour as well as dates supporting Jason Isbell and co-headlining with Shakey Graves. The complete list of tour dates is below.

Robert Ellis is the kind of songwriter who only comes along once in a great while. With his first two albums, a promise was made. With his new record, The Lights from the Chemical Plant, that promise has been delivered and fully realized. The music, like the artist, refuses to accept the confines of a box, and burns white-hot from the inside out. But what seems even more striking about this record, this musician, even at a first glance, is that feeling of unyielding authenticity. With every remarkable cut, with every twist and turn, Ellis’s life and his experience, shine through — His days growing up in a small industrial town in Texas, his move to Houston, and now as a 25-year-old man, when not on the road performing around the world, living with his wife in Nashville.

The Lights from the Chemical Plant has a way of grabbing you by the hand and pulling you in so that it can play with your soul. Alive with memories and innovation, you become absorbed in the world Ellis paints with his smoky lyrics, his hypnotic voice and his masterful work on the guitar. Ellis called on several friends – in addition to his stellar band: Will Van HornGeoffrey MullerKelly Doyle andJosh Block – to lend their talents to the record, including Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith, who co-wrote one song, Deer Tick‘s Rob Crowell, Nashville-based musician Skyler Wilson as well as notable songwriter and musician Jim Lauderdale, who lends his plaintive vocals to one of the tracks.

Ellis’ growth as a man and musician is clear on The Lights From The Chemical Plant. And while some may call it a musical departure from his past, The Houston Chronicle best explains: “Ellis doesn’t place limitations on his music. Any perceived departure is just part of an ongoing creative journey.”

Robert Ellis complete tour dates:

DECEMBER
27 – Houston, TX – Fitzgeralds w/Shakey Graves
28 – Dallas, TX – Kessler Theatre w/Shakey Graves
29 – San Antonio, TX – Sam’s Burger Joint w/Shakey Graves
30 – Austin, TX – The Parish w/Shakey Graves
31 – Austin, TX – The Parish w/Shakey Graves

FEBRUARY
05 – Iowa City, IA – Englert Presents at The Mill (headlining)
06 – Milwaukee, WI – Pabst Theatre w/Jason Isbell
07 – Madison, WI – The Barrymore w/Jason Isbell
08 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue w/Jason Isbell
09 – St. Louis, MO – Plush w/Jason Isbell

Headlining Dates

FEBRUARY
12 – Ann Arbor, MI – The Ark
13 – Toronto, ONT – Drake Hotel
14 – Ithaca, NY – The Haunt
15 – Providence, RI – Columbus Theatre (small room)
16 – Boston, MA – Great Scott
18 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge (early)
19 – Washington, DC – The Hamilton
20 – York, PA – Sign of the Wagon
21 – Ardmore, PA – Ardmore Music Hall
25 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle Back Room
26 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl
28 – Asheville, NC – The Grey Eagle

MARCH
01 – Louisville, KY – Zanzabar
03 – Nashville, TV – The Basement
07 – Florence, AL – 116 Mobile St.
08 – Waverly, AL – Standard Deluxe
10 – Mobile, AL – Callaghan’s