Les Moontunes Carve Deep Grooves With Their Enchanted Tusks

The Moncton soul-rockers put some stomp in their step with their latest single.

Les Moontunes produce some mammoth magic with their new single and animated video Enchanted Tusks — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

The second single from the Moncton heavy soul outfit’s upcoming sophomore album Elephant Wizard, Enchanted Tusks finds the band deepening their musical footprint while trumpeting at the heavens. Zappaesque sonics are built on dreamy piano swirls — only to be interrupted by bursts of fuzzed-out guitar frenzy. Vocals overdriven to the point of distortion crackle with electricity as they chronicle the emergence of the album’s title character, whose tusks can be seen “colouring the night brighter than the starlight.” Then the picture turns grimmer:

“Wanted for its wizardry
The elephant wants to run free
Evil wants the ivory
A magic tusk of eternity.”

What happens then? Don’t expect to be spoon-fed an answer. A concept record about a mystical pachyderm on a quest to find peace in the universe, Elephant Wizard relies less on traditional, linear storytelling than on conveying an emotional journey through mood. Then again, what else would you expect from a bunch of highly intuitive groove junkies who met in high school and started playing and improvising together in a darkened basement, with only a swirling disco ball for light? You can still feel the camaraderie of those early marathon rehearsals in every like-minded jam they record.

Fittingly, the new album was inspired by isolation. Reeling from the one-two punch of a lost job and pandemic shutdowns, singer-pianist and chief songwriter Miguel Dumaine coped by brainstorming a character called the Elephant Wizard, whose story could be told in song. When he and his bandmates — Jeremie Poitras, Martin Daigle, Monica Ouellette, Patrick Gaudet, Samuel Frenette and Marc-Andre Richard — were able to reunite for a residency in Sussex, they fleshed out the concept together.

Photo by Annie France Noel.

Producer Mike Trask’s analog approach to recording and his receptivity to in-studio composition were just the old-school influence the band was looking for to get the tale on tape. The premise of the resulting album is as provocative as it is simple: “When faced with cruelty and betrayal, the magical Elephant Wizard sets out to fight off evil and find a better life for himself on Planet Metal. But will this solve his misery?”

Their own strange trip has given Les Moontunes every chance of living their best life. Their eponymous 2021 debut album netted them Music NB Awards for Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Video of the Year (for the single Paper Boat). Even greater accolades are sure to follow. This elephant has just begun to roar.

Watch the animated video for Enchanted Tusks above, hear more from Les Moontunes below, and get up to speed on their website, Facebook and Instagram.