REVIEW: Chvrches – Leave a Trace

THE feeling for a fan hearing Leave a Trace for the first time was probably relief, coincidentally a lyric from the song, the first played on radio from Chvrches’ new album, Every Open Eye, released on September 25, 2015. Relief, followed by excitement.

It was a relief to find the band hadn’t drifted too far from the pleasing sound of their first record, The Bones of What You Believe, that was so popular.

“Too many bands end up throwing away the thing people liked about them in the first place,” band instrumentalist and producer, Iain Cook told NME.

He’s right. Too many bands’ first album is their best work because they felt so much pressure to improve on it or change their image they created a second that left fans cold and confused. Arctic Monkeys? Mumford & Sons? Personally, I’ve felt gutted several times when my favourite up and coming bands have done a 180 in sound and style at the first inkling of music industry success.

In coy interviews about the new album before any of the fresh songs were heard by the public the band mentioned they were working on recreating a ‘big sound’ heard on tracks by the likes of Michael Jackson no less.

In an interview with Laura Snapes of Pitchfork they said they dwelt on one track (although it isn’t specified in this interview I believe that track to be Afterglow, the last on the album) before instrumentalist and singer, Martin Doherty’s, recent music crush on ‘lean arrangements’ led to the band shedding layers from it leaving Lauren’s vocals and a purer tune inspired by MJ’s ‘fucking huge’ eighties megahits.

Well Leave a Trace, also described by the band as the ‘drop-the-mic’ track, picks up this influence.

It’s what I’d call an anti-power ballad. It’s defiant and fierce and Lauren delivers the lyrics more assertively than I’ve ever heard her do on earlier numbers.

Martin promises the album is still ‘full of melancholy’ though, inspired by the band’s Glasgow surroundings.

Like the lead up to this big reveal though it’s a bit of a tease from the band as it’s still hard to imagine what the rest will be like.

They’ve played it perfectly though and Leave a Trace can only leave fans of The Bones of What You Believe anticipating the next release and festival shows this summer.

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