Every Red Car
All You Want
But Does She Say
Day of Waiting
I’ve Been Away
Leave No Trace
In preparation for this album release, I actually listened to the previous two singles that dropped last year and quite liked the dreamy, melodic feel to Night Water. There’s a distinct beachy-vibe to this one that keeps things suitably mellow and chilled despite the quick-tempo and this balance works reasonably well on both “All You Want” and “I’ve Been Away”. Unfortunately the 9 track album as a whole fails to sustain that same enthusiasm, with too many forgettable tracks and a tone that wallows a little too deeply in slow-paced mundanity.
The album starts as it means to go on with “Pure Ecstacy”. Using a combination of keyboard string segments and chilled guitar riffs, Leave No Trace eases you gently into its dreamy lullaby with an instrumental track before swinging back and forth between slow-paced, reflective songs and quicker tracks that attempt to pick up the mood from the relatively mellow depths it keeps you in for a lot of the run-time.
Toward the end of the album, the songs are a lot longer, including 7 minute tracks “But Does She Say” and “Day of Waiting” that typify the aforementioned chilled vibe the album nails through much of its run time. There’s certainly going to be a specific niche that this album appeals to but unfortunately for me, it feels far too miss than hit.
While the guitar riffs and drum beats do work pretty well together, mixing things up with a variety of different keys and instruments, the vocals regularly blend in with the instruments. At its worst, the lyrics blur so much it’s difficult to discern exactly what’s being said on each track. It’s a bit of a shame because there’s a distinct vibe to this that’s sure to appeal to those into more laid-back rock but the mixing lets this one down. At its best though, tracks like “6.56” do well to strip everything back and let the poignant lyrics slip through but these moments feel far too infrequent.
Leave No Trace is likely to be an album that leaves no trace on the year 2020. It’s actually not a bad album to slip on in the background while studying or with your mind occupied elsewhere but it’s not an attention grabber and certainly not one you’d return to in a hurry. There will be fans of this though, but unless you’re looking for some dreamy rock to stick on in the background, Leave No Trace is unlikely to be the album for you.