I was first turned on to the French Kicks about a year ago by a friend when we saw them at Double Door. I guess this makes me a relative newcomer, because I didn't know that the band has 10 years of history behind them. Last night I saw them again at Schubas and the show was just delightful. I love the flowing undertone of their music that can create the sensation of flying or floating. It has the same airy feeling that I like about the Fleet Foxes, even though they fall into a folk genre, while the French Kicks are more post-punk pop. Most of last nights songs were from their latest full-length album, appropriately titled Swimming for ambiance, but even their more upbeat older songs still have the same softness underneath.
The experience reminded me a bit of an acoustic Snow Patrol show I saw at Schubas a few years ago which took place in the afternoon to a limited invite only audience. There was a cozy community feeling, like being wrapped up in a warm blanket, knowing you were part of something special. The cool thing is that the French Kicks can do that to the room, even when it is packed with a sold out crowd.
The encore closed with "Abandon," one of the more powerful tracks from Swimming, which made for a pleasant, pleasing ending. There were also a couple standout songs toward the end of their set that I had never heard, but really enjoyed, and I don't know if they were older songs or new material. I guess I need to do a little more research listening to them, but that is exactly the feeling I want when I leave a show: excitement for more.
Here's a look at their new video for "Abandon":