Chicago-based musician Liam Hayes has been making soulful baroque pop for a couple decades now. His orchestral leanings and respect for the classical age of American pop have earned him plenty of comparisons to Brian Wilson and Burt Bacharach, and have made him an icon in the small but fervent cult devoted to that sound. One of his better known fans is Roman Coppola, who had Hayes appear in his film A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III. In a few weeks Hayes will release a new album, Slurrup (out Jan. 13 on Fat Possum) that upholds his reputation for intricately crafted compositions and unshakeable hooks.
In preparation for Slurrup‘s release, Hayes has made EW a playlist. “This is not a desert island or deep cuts list,” he writes. “It’s not based on an algorithm and they are in no particular order. These are just some songs that I’ve enjoyed and continue to enjoy. Perhaps you will too.”