There are a lot of inspirations that come to mind for jangle-pop covers, and outside of pretty much all of the obvious ones lies Ivor Cutler’s “I’m Going In A Field.” You know what, though, Massage makes it work. The L.A. band are quickly gathering for a follow-up to their excellent sophomore LP Still Life from earlier in the year. Among the new material, demo versions, and alternate takes lies this cover of the Ivor Cutler Trio’s rather tender cut. Cutler was a Scottish poet, singer, musician, songwriter, and humorist who’s probably best known for appearing in The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour film. In the same year he’d release the album Ludo, produced by none other than George Martin. The album is a strange Hodge-podge of folk, winky humor, and poetry. But among the aural confetti is the almost spectral “I’m Going in a Field.” It sticks out from the rest due to its almost reverent quality and haunting quietude. Massage update it as a sundown jangler, retaining its quiet beauty but giving it a Go-Betweens polish job. A lot of covers are often left floundering in the shadow of their source material, but the best put their own stamp on the song and wind up transcending expectations. This version achieves the rare, ‘better than the original’ quality, creating an affecting tribute to Ivor’s tenderness and an indie pop classic all their own. The Lane Lines EP is out December 10th from Mt.St.Mtn.
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