Happy first day of Daylight Savings Time. I love this day. Likely due to my, ummm, dislike of winter. Okay, I hate winter. And yes, I do realize that I live in California, thereby relegating my whining to the level of ridiculousness. Whatever. I’m just super psyched that there is way more sun and a lot less rain in my near future. Hooray for me.
So, roll out of bed this morning and my better half is scheduled for an hour workout and I’m scheduled for, well, absolutely nothing. I do need to feed birds and cats, clean up the kitchen and maybe generally tidy up a bit. But I need a soundtrack to do all that. So what do I grab on this bright sunshiny first day of (in my mind) spring – a 15-year-old downcast set of piano ballads by Liam Hayes, otherwise known (or not) as Plush. Been meaning to pull this one out for a few weeks now, and this morning the event actually went down. It sounds as good as it ever has. And it’s moments like these that make me wonder why I spend all that time looking for new music when so much great shit already lives in my house, in one form or another.
But it also got me wondering – whatever happened to that dude. Via the wonder of the internets, I now know – he’s still making music. Had no idea. In my defense, it’s easy to lose track of someone who takes a ten year break between albums. But certainly happy to hear he’s back, and currently can be heard in the background (and, to my understanding, foreground) of the new Roman Coppola film, “A Glimpse Inside The Mind Of Charles Swan III.” He composed the soundtrack. And this is four years removed from a 2009 record that I just now know exists – “Bright Penny.” So yeah, two entirely new body of works to absorb.
I’ve spent a little time this morning playing songs off of both releases and I’m happy to report that there hasn’t been any seismic shifts in Hayes’ parlance. “Bright Penny” pretty much picks up where he left off ten years earlier, with another excellent batch of piano-centric chamber pop tunes. Really beautiful stuff. The new soundtrack finds even more of that, includes a trio or so of instrumentals, which I’m sure works perfectly within the context of a film, but also holds up surprisingly well as stand-alone tracks. Also dig the full-on band vamps, occasionally approximating something some would some would maybe reference as “rock.” But then there’s a song entitled “Rock & Roll” that is the least rock thing on the record.
If the interest is simply overwhelming, it looks like you can dial up all of this stuff on Spotify. Trying to suss it all out tho can be a challenge, as the material is listed under “Plush,” Liam Hayes & Plush” or simply “Liam Hayes.” And there’s a bunch of Plush things that ain’t Plush. Or, at least, the good Plush. Ugh. (Spotify’s lousy search functionality remains, umm, lousy) Definitely worth checking out. Says me. I’m gonna have to buy those two albums I don’t currently own. I’m old-school like that.
So, a belated welcome back Mr. Hayes. Er, Plush. Or whatever it is that you call yourself these days. I’m just glad to see your name attached to new music. Because I missed you.