The new French Kicks album Swimming has been out for a couple months now and I’ve had a chance to give it some proper listening time. I thought Songs From 2000 set the bar pretty high so anything coming after that would need to be pretty good to surpass it. While Swimming is a great collection of songs, I don’t think it really lives up to the previous release. Although being subdued is sort of the Kicks’ hallmark, this offering just seems a bit overly subdued for my taste.
The band apparently recorded and mixed this record themselves, which is a pretty commendable feat; it really does sound great and the overall vibe is pretty unique. From a technical perspective the record is interesting, most of the parts sound like they are room recordings, big and airy with a lot of ambience. The album opens with what I think is the strongest track, you can really hear the recording style shine here with the big boomy bass, it almost sounds like a really good live take.
I am not sure what’s going on with this album cover. I’m definitely not a fan of the style or execution; just seems rather boring. Looks like some stock art from an Ikea wall hanging or something.
French Kicks – Abandon[audio:abandon.mp3]