Leave a Trace

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"Leave a Trace"
Cover art for Chvrches' 2015 single, "Leave A Trace".jpg
Single by Chvrches
from the album Every Open Eye
Released17 July 2015 (2015-07-17)
Chvrches singles chronology
"Leave a Trace"
"Never Ending Circles"
Music video
"Leave A Trace" on YouTube

"Leave a Trace" is a song by Scottish synth-pop band Chvrches from their second studio album Every Open Eye. It was released as the band's first official single on 17 July 2015 via Virgin and Goodbye Records.[1]


During an interview with Pitchfork, Lauren Mayberry said of the song:[2]

“Leave a Trace” is the middle finger mic-drop. It’s about that point where you’re like, “There’s no point having this conversation anyways: There will be no resolve, I won’t feel better about it, you won’t feel better about it, no outcome from this will actually change my reality.” It makes me feel better to write about that—I’ve done something constructive with it. You don’t put that on other people, you put that into what you do. That’s always the way I’ve written lyrics. My ex-partners are not friends with me, but I’m OK with that.

Release history[edit]

"Leave a Trace" was streamed on the band's official SoundCloud page.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

The song received generally positive reviews.[4] Luke Winstanley of Clash called the song "another highlight, outrageously infectious and immediate, all centred around a gentle but persistent bass pulse."[5] Sam Shepherd of musicOMH felt it "finds Mayberry certain of her feelings and finding closure, and delivering a sweet vocal that drills deep into the pleasure centres."[6] Abby Johnston of The Austin Chronicle called Mayberry's performance in the song "at the level of a modern-day Cyndi Lauper."[7]

Rolling Stone placed "Leave a Trace" at number 24 on its list of the 50 Best Songs of 2015.[8] Billboard ranked "Leave a Trace" at number fourteen on its year-end list: "On 'Leave a Trace', Iain Cook and Martin Doherty’s fine-tuned swirls of synthesizer are just begging for a killer hook, and Mayberry -- singing with more swagger than ever before -- hammers it home." [9]

Music video[edit]


A music video for the song was released on 17 August 2015.

Consequence of Sound said of the music video:[10]

In the atmospheric video for “Leave A Trace”, Lauren Mayberry takes center stage and proves yet again why she’s quickly risen the ranks among indie’s foremost frontwomen. Confident yet vulnerable, seductive yet fierce, Mayberry refuses to be pigeonholed into one singular personality. It’s all the more striking when considering she’s spent the last year fighting back against Internet trolls for sexist and misogynistic comments. Mayberry can be sexy, but she can also kick your ass.

4chan Criticism[edit]

On 17 August 2015, a user on internet forum 4chan posted a link to the music video to /mu/, 4chan's music board. Hundreds of comments followed, many of which were sexually explicit remarks and such sexist slurs as "slut", "whore", and "bitch" directed toward Mayberry. Other comments called Mayberry a hypocrite for her solo appearance in the video while concurrently being an outspoken feminist and expressing her disdain for the objectification of women.[11]

One participant in the thread tweeted at Mayberry, requesting her input. Mayberry blocked the user and responded to the thread in her own tweet, writing "Dear anyone who thinks misogyny isn't real. It is and this is what is looks like," with a link to the 4chan thread.[12] Mayberry's bandmates defended her in a tweet from the band's account, writing "PSA: apparently wet hair makes you a 'slut'. Nice work, 4chan / humanity."[13]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Chvrches.

Vinyl edition[14]
1."Leave a Trace" (Radio edit)3:34
2."Leave a Trace" (Album version)3:57
3."Leave a Trace" (Instrumental)3:57


Chart (2015) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[15] 64
Australia Hitseekers (ARIA)[15] 3
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[16] 37
Canada Rock (Billboard)[17] 27
Japan (Japan Hot 100)[18] 95
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[19] 107
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[20] 17
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[21] 19
US Rock Airplay (Billboard)[22] 23


  1. ^ Geslani, Michelle; Roffman, Michael (16 July 2015). "CHVRCHES premieres new single "Leave A Trace" - listen". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  2. ^ Mayberry, Lauren (22 June 2015). "Keeping It Unreal: In the Studio with Chvrches" (Interview). Interviewed by Pitchfork. Glasgow. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  3. ^ Murray, Robin (16 July 2015). "Listen: CHVRCHES - 'Leave a Trace'". Clash. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  4. ^ Ryan, Kyle (25 September 2015). "Chvrches is poised for big things on its excellent 2nd album". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  5. ^ Winstanley, Luke (10 September 2015). "CHVRCHES - Every Open Eye". Clash Music. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  6. ^ Shepherd, Sam (5 October 2015). "Chvrches - Every Open Eye". musicOMH. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  7. ^ Johnston, Abby (6 November 2015). "Chvrches Every Open Eye (Glassnote/Virgin EMI)". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  8. ^ "50 Best Songs of 2015". Rolling Stone.
  9. ^ "Billboard 25 Best Songs of 2015: Critics' Picks". Billboard.com.
  10. ^ CoS Staff (17 August 2015). "CHVRCHES unveil video for "Leave a Trace" - watch". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  11. ^ Wyatt, Daisy (18 August 2015). "Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry responds to misogynistic 4chan abuse over new music video 'Leave a Trace'". The Independent. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  12. ^ Mayberry, Lauren [@laurenevemay] (17 August 2015). "Dear anyone who thinks misogyny isn't real. It is and this is what it looks like" (Tweet). Retrieved 27 March 2017 – via Twitter.
  13. ^ CHVRCHES [@CHVRCHES] (17 August 2015). "PSA: apparently wet hair makes you a "slut". Nice work, 4chan / humanity" (Tweet). Retrieved 27 March 2017 – via Twitter.
  14. ^ https://www.discogs.com/Chvrches-Leave-A-Trace/release/7314768
  15. ^ a b "ARIA Report". Issue 1327. ARIA. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  16. ^ "Ultratop.be – Chvrches – Leave A Trace" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  17. ^ "Chvrches Chart History (Canada Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  18. ^ "Chvrches Chart History (Japan Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  19. ^ "CHART: CLUK Update 25.07.2015 (wk30)". zobbel.de. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  20. ^ "Chvrches Chart History (Hot Rock Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  21. ^ "Chvrches Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  22. ^ "Chvrches Chart History (Rock Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 April 2016.