The French Kicks hail from New York's indie-rock scene, but they've never suffered the overkill.
Ten years ago, the foursome began as a sloppy, sort-of-punk band whose first self-titled EP echoed Television's Marquee Moon.
A few years later, the group had tightened its sound into dapper, neo-garage rock on albums One Time Bells and The Trial of the Century. Most recently, the Kicks have mellowed, and their newest music aches with arching vocals, ambient keyboards and guitars as sparse and clean as raindrops.
This year the group tours in support of Swimming, a drifting album that recalls the simple pop of Simon and Garfunkel. The tender, sunlit melodies and finger-snap percussion may aspire to Pet Sounds, but the band will always be more Brooklyn than California.