Houston singer/songwriter Robert Ellis has spent his career singing odes to lost loves and restless living. On his new album, Texas Piano Man (released February 14), he adds another subject to the list of things that make him pour his heart out: Topo Chico.
The song, fittingly called “Topo Chico,” is the last track on the album. It premiered on Tuesday morning at Garden & Gun and shows the musician in rare form, with a honky tonk beat, slide guitar, and and a swinging bass line coming together to honor the greatness that is a freshly-opened bottle of Topo Chico with a little bit of lime. “If you have a predilection for a bubbly libation / or if you need a new addiction / with a focus on hydration / we’ve got just the thing to keep your whistle wet,” Ellis sings, effectively positioning himself as the beverage brand’s ideal pitchman. He celebrates all of the many ways to enjoy the sparkling water: in a glass over ice, straight from the bottle, or in lieu of a beer, a margarita, or a Coke.
It’s not a serious song in the least. (The last few seconds are Ellis and the band cracking up over the sincerity with which he sang about the soft drink.) But Ellis does get at one of the understated qualities of Topo Chico—it’s an ideal bar beverage for a designated driver. With that, Ellis add just a hint of depth to a song that’s designed to fit into the unique tradition of Texas musicians paying homage to the hometown food and drink they love (see also: “Donut Taco Palace” by Shinyribs, “HEB” by The Scabs)—it seems the songwriter can’t avoid bringing a little bit of heart to even his silliest material.
Listen to the song below: