XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of The Week: “Only Lies” by Robert Ellis

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Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo by Destiny Ellis

Texas singer-songwriter Robert Ellis grew up in the small town of Lake Jackson, soaking up influences including Doc Watson, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmie Rodgers, Mississippi John Hurt, and Randy Newman. Now based in Houston, Ellis makes songs that are baked in heartache, the long and winding road of personal discovery. His new album, The Lights From The Chemical Plant, is being released on February 11th on New West Records and features contributions from Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, Rob Crowell from Deer Tick and Jim Lauderdale.

On “Only Lies,” Ellis has crafted an intimate, beautiful song about the convenient stories we tell ourselves to shield from the hurtfulness of bad relationships. Over a mid-tempo, shuffling rhythm, and dazzlingly gorgeous pedal steel guitar playing, Ellis sings “Only lies can comfort you / Only lies will see you through / Just because a thing’s convenient, well that doesn’t make it true.” It’s good advice when our backs are up against the wall, and one of the best songs of year so far.

Listen to “Only Lies” below. Robert Ellis plays Ardmore Music Hall on Friday, February 21st. Go here for tickets.

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