Les nuits de Repentigny
For more than two decades, Les Cowboys Fringants have been the ultimate embodiment of Québécois music's past and present. Steeped in folk tradition, humor, candor, and contemporary songwriting savvy, their sound is a truly singular one, and with that has come a certain amount of expectation to paint within its lines. But sometimes it's nice to let off some steam, and Les Cowboys Fringants have a blast on Les nuits de Repentigny, a rollicking album culled from unreleased song sketches from the past 20-plus years. The title track is an Elvis-inspired stomper that boasts—tongue firmly in cheek—about the so-called wild nights of Repentigny, the mostly rural Montreal suburb from which the band hails. "Fin d'hiver" is a head-bobbing country ballad about the ugliness of winter's end and the nostalgia that accompanies the arrival of spring. And "Dans son ciel" brings punk-rock edge to a tale of teenage alienation. It’s a bit of a whirlwind—23 tracks in 55 minutes—but within that burst of energy, Les Cowboys Fringants showcase their stylistic mastery and a seemingly bottomless well of spontaneity.