The 25-year-old country star is debuting his new music video on Thursday and only ET has an exclusive look behind the scenes. Hayes returned to the set of his very first album cover shoot for the project, which he calls "super emotional."
"I think you'll get emotional too, when you see it," he tells fans in this sneak peek. "A work of art in every way of the word."
To celebrate the launch of "Rescue," Hayes has teamed up with Zappos to release "The Rescue Collection," a limited line of shoes that feature artwork inspired by the music video. All proceeds from the collection, available this holiday season, will be donated to Zappos for Good, benefiting select music- and pet-related charitable initiatives.
"I've always loved what music and charity organizations can do together, and I think the tie-in with this song is undeniable," Hayes says. "We've had the opportunity to work with so many awesome charities over the years and I realized that, to me, they are exactly that: rescues. They are places of refuge for so many people who need a friend to help them through something or to be there for them. We've seen the power of music in so many ways and I wanted 'Rescue' to be a song that we used for good. Maybe 'Rescue' can be a part of that miracle of lifting somebody up."
In an interview with ET earlier this month in Nashville, Hayes opened up about how his longtime girlfriend, Libby Barnes, inspired the song and how he's continuing to buck tradition with new and innovative release strategies.
"I'm definitely talking about [Barnes]," Hayes said of the song. "I'm so happy to share about all that because of the stuff that we've gone through together and the stuff that she's seen me go through, and the strength that she's given me -- with credit to my parents and friends and the people around me."
"Rescue" is the latest offering from Hayes' next musical collection, following the September release of "Yesterday's Song," "Amen" and "Young Blood."
"That, to me, was like, 'This is new. This is the start of a new chapter, this is the starting over, this is kinda the fresh start,'" Hayes tells ET. "You could call it album three, LP three -- I just call it new."
Hayes remains committed to finding new and innovative release strategies for his music after experimenting with single-song releases on his The 21 Project in 2015.
"A lot of the fans responded well to that," he says. "They spoke so strongly about the way they want us to release music and how we should release music that it completely opened the doors. They made such a statement to the industry saying the times are changing and we have so many other avenues to release music to them."
Hayes admits that he's still not completely sure what his next "new" project will culminate to, but says it's "exciting" to find new opportunities for sharing music beyond just a 10-song album.
"That's the fun part, we don't know," he says. "We're jumping head first into this and believing that this is how the fans want music now and more often, more consistent. And we haven't solved all the riddles, but we're going to with the release and as releases come out. There will be a physical record at some point based on everything that we've released. It's a thrill for me because I can see how it puts me directly back in touch with the fans again. That makes me happy."