Brooklyn’s French Kicks have come a long way since their humble garage-rock beginnings. So far, in fact, their newest album is “by far the closest we’ve come to getting the sound we wanted” according to lead singer Nick Stumpf. Not too sure Swimming is much of a departure from their 2006 release, Two Thousand, but hey, I’ll take it. After a few listens, though, I can tell that the band’s sound is separating itself from earlier releases like Young Lawyer and One Time Bells.
The album was released exclusively on iTunes today and is going to be in stores May 20th. Their second album on Vagrant Records (the band’s only flaw), it was produced and mixed entirely by the band themselves and continues to present the airy, percussive harmonies that French Kicks fans know and love. Nick Stumpf’s breathy vocals on tracks like “Over The World” and “New Man” are just downright beautiful. The 70’s sounding “Said So What” might just be one of my favorite tracks on the album, with its smooth chorus and never-ending supply of finger-snaps and hand-claps (which I definitely can never get enough of). All tracks make me want to dance, but not in a Crystal Castles/Justice/nu-rave kind of way, which I can only handle in small doses.
Overall, if you liked Two Thousand, I promise you will like this album as well. Think of it as a continuation of the last album, if you will. Hopefully Swimming will garner up some of the respect French Kicks deserve for their light, unpretentious sound.