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Music: The French Kicks-Swimming

November 21, 2011

The latest release (2008) from French Kicks was recorded and produced by the band, which undoubtedly contributes to its low-fi charm. The vocals have a fair amount of reverb while the drums sound unadorned. The songs are catchy and smartly written, and posses a kind of seriousness; even the most upbeat grooves have a hint of melancholy behind them. Think a cross between Broken Social Scene and Grizzly Bear.

French Kicks seem to get compared to The Strokes a lot, which makes sense only if you’re talking about economy; there is nothing extraneous about Swimming, no polish or studio magic. Otherwise, I don’t hear similarities. Where The Strokes come at their tunes with grit, French Kicks achieve a more nostalgic sound. It’s like the difference between New York in the sun and in the rain. Worth owning, maybe on vinyl.

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