Living Trust: “The Heavens”: rewrite the ’80s glory new-wave sound, into a modern-day Gospel continuation

In the 1980’s, Mark played keys, sang and wrote as an original member of the Christian rock band Trust. During the 1990’s he was music minister at Story Road,...

In the 1980’s, Mark played keys, sang and wrote as an original member of the Christian rock band Trust. During the 1990’s he was music minister at Story Road, a non-denominational Christian church in Irving Texas. He currently contributes keyboards as a member of the praise band at Cross Bend Christian Church in Plano, Texas where, as the leader of Living Trust, he seeks to create and share thoughtful, independent Christian music which deals as honestly as possible with real issues of life and faith while relying firmly upon the Bible as the source of wisdom and truth.

“My musical interests cover a wide range of rock, progressive rock, pop punk and jazz styles,” says Mark. “I do notice, however, a disproportionate number of 1980’s new wave influences in my songwriting and performances.”

Perhaps this can be attributed to the many thousands of times I repeatedly played the hits of the 1980’s during my time as a 100,000 watt FM radio disc jockey.” And this affirmation can be no truer than for the first single, taken from the album, “Things I’ll Put Away”.

The track, entitled “The Heavens”, seems to rewrite the ’80s glory new-wave sound, into a modern-day Gospel continuation. At the same time it obscurely pays tribute to Michael Jackson’s megahit songwriting abilities, as the song balances its driving melody on a ‘Beat It-styled’ rhythm and riff hook.

But it would be misleading to suggest this song is derivative for the sake of purely imitating, rather these nostalgic elements have simply become a part of what Living Trust does, due to their vast source of retro influences.

Of course their prime defining element is the song’s lyric sheet. Living Trust don’t beat about the bush with cryptic narratives, or pander to any commercial tendencies, that will have people wondering ‘are they or aren’t they’. A little commercial tweak many so-called Christian bands play around with.

Living Trust’s lyrics are thoroughly Gospel-based, down to its core, as they openly declare “the glory of the Lord” in the creation and guidance of mankind: “The heavens declare the glory of the Lord / The skies proclaim the work of His hands / Day after day they pour forth speech / Night after night they help us see / Heavens declare the glory of the Lord!”

But what makes the track really special is the fact that it feels more important than the said ‘new wave’ constraints would have you believe. Firstly it’s a sound and style that has aged extremely well, and which Living Trust interpret supremely.

It almost unnoticeably showcases the bands ingenuity with a bouncy tune, which serves as a mask for the subtle, building melody that brings the powerfully glorifying lyrics to the forefront. No one else I can think of offhand, sounds quite like Living Trust, currently, or does what they’re doing. Nor attempts to say what this band is saying, while doing it!

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Living Trust – The Heavens (Genesis 1:1, John 1:1, John 8:12) from Mark Stephens on Vimeo.

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