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Marquis Drive – 21st Century Gospel

With previous single ‘Spaceman’ 7-piece Marquis Drive asserted themselves as a band that weren’t afraid to showcase their poppier side, providing a lighter, more melodic and indeed introspective approach to a genre that’s rapidly becoming all leather jackets and no trilby.

Indeed, the band’s latest single “21st Century Gospel” builds on the same rich production and huge swathes of melody as its predecessor. Where “Spaceman”’s musical palette was that of technicolour indie-pop however. “…Gospel” builds on this through the emotive swells of strings and crisp piano that entwine with the more expected instruments on offer.

At nearly five minutes long, it’s not a short track, something the band have remedied wisely with the option of a radio edit. Trimmed down, however, and “21st Century Gospel” loses some of its initial impact; the lack of its idiosyncratic strings lessening inherent emotional impact harboured by the full version.

Indeed, it’s a testament to Marquis Drive, that the longer version should be the better one, and rare too that a track should benefit so much without the fat being stripped from its sides. One only needs listen to its soaring orchestral intro to understand where we’re coming from.

The first single since the aforementioned “Spaceman” closed out a trio of releases last year, “21st Century Gospel” is the track that Marquis Drive fans have been clamouring for, though not perhaps as they know it. Successfully balancing the refined and nuanced with the band’s deep-rooted rock’n’roll sensibilities, it’s an amalgamation greater than the sum of its parts, and one that elevates Marquis Drive far beyond the realms of your average meat and potatoes indie band.