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Plush

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Biography

Vocalist, pianist, and guitarist Liam Hayes (known for his work with Will Oldham's Palace) has been songwriting for his group, Plush, since the dawn of the '90s, but didn't record with the band until 1994 when the single "Three Quarters Blind Eyes"/"Found a Little Baby" came out on Chicago's Drag City label. This first effort for the seldom-gigging band garnered some surprisingly big attention from the music press; notably, the B-side was named Single of the Week by one British magazine and received critical praise from several others. It was another three years, however, before the band created a follow-up. 1997's "No Education" came out on Flydaddy, and it was a much shorter wait between releases this time, with their full-length debut coming out the following year. 1998's More You Becomes You actually finds Hayes at the piano singing sparse, vulnerable, and romantic songs along the heartfelt lines of Carole King and Burt Bacharach ballads. Following the album's release, the band continued together with Hayes on guitar and toured with the Japanese band Ghost and with Yo La Tengo. One can also catch Hayes performing in the background of a bar scene in the film High Fidelity (2000), a movie about an obsessive music fan living in Chicago. In 2002, the Japanese After Hours label released Hayes' next achievement, Fed -- an album as lush and ambitious as the previous one was sparse. Hayes returned in 2009 with Bright Penny, a lovingly constructed "ode to pop music" that was released under the moniker Liam Hayes & Plush. Hayes appeared in and composed the soundtrack for director Roman Coppola's 2012 independent comedy A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III. ~ Joslyn Layne

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