French Kicks: Swimming

Posted by Scott

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


6 Comments Leave A Comment


Keith says:

August 7, 2008 at 6:03 am

I agree Two Thousand is an awesome album. This one is growing on me through repeated listens though. French Kicks are probably my favorite “obscure” band. You never hear much from them and they don’t seem to ever tour out other than New York. I’d love to see them live. That cover looks a bit Saul Bass inspired but it failed miserably.


AndresM says:

August 7, 2008 at 2:07 pm

Yeah what’s up with their album art? EVERY album they’ve put out has had awful art! It always seemed weird to me because the artwork and the music have never seemed to connect with them. Some times when something sucks so bad people don’t have the heart to tell them!


Scott says:

August 7, 2008 at 3:07 pm

yeah, this new one grew a little, but there aren’t any other tracks (besides this one) that really reach out and pull me in. the last one had quite a few. as for touring, they were in sacramento a while back, my friend dusty was able to make it but I didn’t drive out for that one. probably should have, they played the blue lamp which is a tiny dive bar where mostly local acts play, would have been nice and intimate.

maybe that’s there whole plan, worst album covers ever so you’ll have to focus on the music? seems stupid, but there isn’t really a better explanation. either that or they have a friend who’s a “designer” who they always use and like you said, don’t have the heart to tell him it sucks.