Gotta Hear This, #10
Back in 1994 there was a great single and an astounding B side. Yes, bubs, it was a seven inch record, smartly dressed, primed to excite the soul. But in a reluctant, indie kind of way. The author was Liam Hayes from Chicago, sometime pal of Will Oldham and Royal Trux. With a deal of arch vanity, he called himself Plush. The release appeared on the Drag City label and while 'Three Quarters Blind Eyes' was designated track to play, the word soon spread that you really had to listen to the darkside, 'Found A Little Baby'.
And so we did, often and earnestly. It became a kind of anti-anthem in the NME office as the melancholics would swoon to the French horn parts and the weary vocals. This was the kind of record that encouraged cub hacks to type "hauntingly beautiful" onto their Mac Classics, like they had just invented the phrase. The older fellas were thinking of Jimmy Webb, Alex Chilton and Dennis Wilson, those other nabobs of despondency. In short, this was a song for swinging saddos.
Plush might have been successful. But the records that followed were infrequent and contrary. Liam had a cameo role in High Fidelity, playing piano. He is still a regular name-drop in those winsome conversations between senior music writers with few friends, too much vinyl and the compulsion to anchor every emotion to a charmingly obscure record.