Robert Ellis tries to chase away a broken heart with “Drivin’,” a tune whose careening percussion and folky, fast-strummed fury butt heads with the listlessness of its narrator. In the song, Ellis putters around town in search of a quick distraction. He goes to the grocery store, makes a pass at a disinterested barista and eventually gets behind the wheel, where he logs a few worthless miles before realizing “I ain’t going nowhere/I’m just driving.”
Cowritten with Brandy Clark, “Drivin'” paves the way for Ellis’ self-produced, self-titled record, his follow-up to 2014’s The Lights From the Chemical Plant. The album arrives June 3rd, one day after Ellis kicks off a headlining tour in his hometown of Houston. Meanwhile, Brandy Clark is gearing up for her own release, Big Day in a Small Town, which will double as her first major-label album for Warner Brothers. Both songwriters have enjoyed recent surges in popularity, thanks to a welcomingly stubborn refusal to cater to country trends that, in the wake of new stars like Chris Stapleton, may be on the wane.