The Best Tracks of 2015, #3


3. CHVRCHES, “Leave a Trace”

The first single off the Scottish trio’s follow-up to 2013’s massive The Bones of What You Believe shows the band sounding stronger and more confident both as musicians and songwriters. Sleeker than the band’s synthpop of old, the lavish “Leave a Trace” is a perfect, sparkling showcase for singer Lauren Mayberry, who not only sound so much more assertive on record than she ever did before (a couple years of hard touring will do that) but hardened, both vocally and lyrically: “You think I’ll apologize for things I left behind / But you got it wrong / And I’m as sane as I ever was.” That’s a kiss-off line that Taylor Swift wishes she could write. (Spotify) (YouTube)