Texas-based singer/songwriter Robert Ellis announced his new album Yesterday’s News which will be released on May 19th through his own label Niles City Records. He recorded the album at his recording studio Niles City Sound located in Fort Worth, Texas.
An ever evolving, creatively restless renaissance man, Ellis is redefining himself yet again, this time on his own, in far more honest terms. Coming off his raucous 2019 album Texas Piano Man, Ellis is changing course and embracing a raw minimalist approach that prizes patience and restraint above all else.
Recorded live to tape in just two days, Yesterday’s News is as stripped-down as it gets, with Ellis’s delicate, reedy tenor accompanied only by nylon string guitar, upright bass, and the occasional piece of handheld percussion. The arrangements are harmonically sophisticated, drawing on the open tunings and intricate fingerpicking of English songwriters like Nick Drake or Richard Thompson. Ellis’s performances are similarly subtle and nuanced, tapping into the bittersweet longing of Chet Baker and the playful poignancy of Bill Evans and Jim Hall. What emerges is a record that’s not quite folk and not quite jazz, a series of intimate, unhurried meditations on growth and maturity, hope and regret, desire and contentment, all delivered by an artist learning to let go and get quiet, to slow down and appreciate the tiny little miracles that make life worth living. “I’ve spent my entire career trying to make records that I thought would be ‘exciting’ to other people,” said Ellis, “but the albums I’ve always been most drawn to are small and gentle and soft. The more I sat with these new songs, the more I realized that their stillness was their strength.” – says Ellis