Liam Hayes/ Mirage Garage

Weird Vacation MC

On the face of it, Liam Hayes is not a typical garage rocker: much of his reputation rests on the 2002 Plush album, Fed, known more for the tortured extravagance of its recording than for its musical excellence. Since then, Hayes has pared back his baroque vision to levels more economically viable for a cult outsider. Recently relocated from Chicago to Los Angeles, he now records in a 4-track garage studio, the better to expose the fragile loveliness of his songs. The idea of Hayes as distrait heir to Jimmy Webb, albeit one who was nurtured alongside Will Oldham, remains strong on songs like Ariadne. But for the first time since 1994’s staggering debut single Found A Little Baby, there’s a touch of Third/Sister Lovers on Amazing Astronauts and In Me/ Again. How perverse, too, that Mirage Garage, one of Hayes’ best ever sets, is currently only available on cassette via his website.

Liam Hayes